Alumni students and staff from the ANU School of Art and Design (previously Canberra School of Art and ANU School of Art) are numerously represented in the collection through purchases, generous donations by artists and patrons and through the School of Art and Design’s Emerging Artists Support Scheme. In this series of posts we introduce a selection of alumni artists and their works in the collection, and give a brief insight into their lives and art practices.
Joel Arthur’s 42, 2015, was donated to the ANU Art Collection in 2015. He studied painting at ANU School of Art and graduated with Honours in 2014. We invited Joel to provide some insight into his works in the collection, his experience of studying at the ANU and a little about his creative life since graduating:
42 was the first painting I made after completing study at ANU School of Art. The language of this painting is an extension of an investigation of still life, observing refraction and other optical phenomena through glass, and relating this to perception and abstraction. Through removing representation and only maintaining a ‘subject’ of flipped patterning, the reversed pattern stands in as a perceived object in space and simultaneously flattens as a field. This familiar Op Art ‘wave’ patterning echoes the work of Bridget Riley, freely painted in tonally similar hues which deliver an optical shimmer.
At the School of Art I focused on generating paintings from still life as an anchor point. Everyday objects such as milk crates, plastics, reflective materials and most importantly glass, were a recurring motifs used to describe the bending of light and the perception of it in painting. This trajectory eventually resulted in the removal of description of objects in the paintings and exploration of these optical events as a field.
I am currently a studio tenant at Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA) and am continuing to make paintings which investigate the interplay of representation and abstraction, drawing from still life as well as sourced imagery from the internet.
You can find more information on Joel Arthur and his practice through Instagram:@__joel__arthur__
Other works by Joel Arthur in the ANU Art Collection: