Melbourne folk! I have an upcoming exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy! I’ll be part of this group show along side some very talented creatives! Opening night is the 21 April at 6pm, so be sure to come say hello and enjoy some drinks and nibbles!
I’ll be showcasing a large body of work as well as some of my newest pieces for an upcoming series ‘Forest of Mushrooms’. The series captures a wildwood full of growth, minute life forms and woodland creatures comprised in a palette of warm autumn tones. The series explores undergrowths of mushroom species and invertebrates, focusing on minuscule details of life that form ecosystems within a larger environment.
The exhibition runs from the 21 April to 4 May 2017. The Contemporary Localised Survey is an ongoing series at Brunswick Street Gallery, interested in the artistic practices and happenings of today. The exhibition gathers small groups of artists, allowing nuances, juxtapositions and connections to organically emerge from the physical proximity of the differing works.
What medium do you use?
I primarily use traditional mediums of graphite and coloured pencil as well as inks, watercolour and acrylic paint. My work varies from illustration, painting and printmaking depending on my mood. But for the last few years my resolved works have predominately been illustrations.
What is your artistic background?
I’m a self-taught artist and have been drawing since before I can remember. I was nicknamed “Crafty” in preschool, with art being something that has always stuck with me. I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 2012, with minors in visual art and printmaking at QCA. I’m currently a full time Graphic Designer and creative artist by night!
Do you accept commission work?
No. I’m not currently taking on any commission or freelance work. I used to, however I found it took away from my personal work too much. I’m flat out keeping up with my own ideas, let alone someone else’s! I also just don’t have the time, being a full time designer, by the time I get to my own work the week is nearly over.
Do you sell your work online?
Yes. You can find prints of my work on my online etsy store or via staceymaree.com/shop
Do you sell originals?
No. Mainly because most of my early works started in journals and sketchbooks that has developed from there. My sketchbooks are most precious to me, full of ideas and scribbles that I could never pull apart. It also has to do with the technique I used in the early stages of my career. I would layer ink drawings digitally with layers of colour and mixed mediums to create depth and texture. So the original would be much different to the finished outcome.
However, my technique has shifted from this style and has become more finished in the initial drawing. Using primarily coloured pencil with an increase in scale, the works focus on capturing realistic representations. Which means the prints are most representative to the original piece, with only digital enhancements and touch ups for printing purposes. So perhaps I might sell some originals down the track… if my collection keeps growing at this rate!
Why are your prices so cheap?
This is a question I get quite frequently. The answer is, simply because I want my artwork to be affordable for everyone. I would much rather people have my work and it go to beautiful new homes of all social statuses, than it only be available to a select few.
Why is some of your most recent work not available for purchase?
Changing cities, means changing suppliers. I have not been able to source a printer that I’m satisfied with in Melbourne since being here. It is also a time consuming process between sourcing, proofing test prints and colour matching. I also carefully compare the quality of the prints against the original to get them as close as possible. I have either found printers to be too cheap and lack in quality or high quality and too expensive. I cannot justify doubling my prices and selling prints that aren’t affordable.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
My goal is to constantly work on perfecting my technique and skills. To keep up with my ideas and have a body of work that is full of my imagination. As an artist, I think it is crucial to be able to look back on your portfolio of work and see progression, development and growth. My work isn’t the same as it was five years ago; everyday I’m improving my technique, my skill, my craft. That’s what’s most important to me and that’s how I measure my success. It’s just an added bonus when other people appreciate my work as well!
After going through my studio, I realised I have neglected a few pieces to the point where I completely forgot they existed… eek! It got me thinking of my creative process and how I work. I also made a quick note of the ones found hidden in journals and to come back to them at some stage!
Every artist is different and everyone works differently. I tend to have a few pieces on the go at once. Currently I have five that I have started, halfway through or near competition. I don’t generally have that many in motion at once, usually one or two. But lately I find my hands cannot keep up with my mind! So much so that my journals are usually full of more notes and scribbles of ideas rather then actual drawings. It’s a great way for me to clear the clutter from my mind as my imagination wanders.
It also allows me to be a bit more strategic with ideas, critically analysing elements to determined whether or not they work within a piece or to simply let it be. Perhaps coming back to that idea later on, add to it or use it for a different piece entirely. I have since created an inspiration book to assist with this process, something I’ll touch on in more detail another time.
Deciding which piece to work on is very determined by my mood and which one I’m drawn to in the present moment. I could be nearly finished a piece and simply not feel it that day. Which is important to me, not only because I know I’ll be able to draw better once in that zone, but also so that the piece isn’t forced and grows naturally. I cannot work on a piece unless my heart is fully in it.
This is the reason you may find me constantly changing between drawings. I’m working on the piece that’s sings out to me the most and it feels right. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing… I believe it’s preventing the piece from becoming stale and forced. Allowing myself to work on it with a fresh set of eyes. That’s just what works for me.
If you’d like to take a glimpse at some of the pieces I’ve been working on recently, you’re welcome to pop on over to my Instagram or Tumblr feed that has all my works in progress and a few behind the scenes images! Hope you enjoy!
“The Garden Tea Party” is a series of works that grew over time – quite literally. The works focus on the fragile beauty of nature and growth over time, combining the two fragile forms of fine china and delicate foliage. The teacups and teapots are seen displaced and neglected in the wilderness, completely overgrown and entwined in foliage.
[Above: ‘Tea for Two’ – Third Edition to the series]
[‘Green Tea’ – Forth Edition to the series]
[‘Overgrown Teapot’ – Second Edition to the series]
[‘Tea Time’ – First Edition to the series]
It all started with the first edition to the series”Tea Time” At the time my vintage teacup collection was growing, finding the most intricate pieces of Victorian fine china. I was drawn to floral patterns and combining this with living flora.
“The camellia tea plant grows from the teacup and forms a seed of new life.”
I initially manipulated the structure of the teacups – starting with the delicate handles transforming from object to growth. The teacups and teapots are depicted with cracks and chips revealing there weathered and worn state, highlighting their vulnerability of the abandoned fine china against natural elements.
The foliage is seen adapting to its surroundings with growths breaking out from the constraints of the structural form – surviving and overtaking the unfamiliar objects.
Alice in Wonderland is an all time favourite story of mine and one I hold close to my heart. It reminds me of childhood, adventures and the powerful tool of imagination and that of my own. I wanted to capture the magical world of wonderland – a world full of clocks, teacups, giant mushrooms and peculiar creatures.
Being very influenced by the Disney films and their version of the novels – I wanted to create my own take on it. Conveying Alice a little older and more estranged to the common world. Her hair appearing a little untamed in a messy braid and big pink bow, though still in proper dress for the tea party. She sits upon a giant mushroom with a dazed expression as she balances a teacup on her head, a teapot in one hand and key in the other. Not at all concerned by her surroundings as her curious animal friends lurk behind her, for the white rabbit will show her the way.
“Everything is out of the ordinary and nothing appears as it should”
[‘Alice’ – Finalised piece. Graphite and coloured pencil]
‘Birds and The Seams’ explores the delicate nature of flora and fauna adapting to its surroundings and its dominance over time. Dainty insects and woodland creatures are depicted in a world of displaced antiques that are completely overgrown and entwined in foliage. As time passes, the dominance of the foliage grows and accumulates the abandoned antique objects, creating a completely new environment for nature to thrive on.
The concept was derived from previous explorations of overgrown foliage accumulating antique objects seen in ‘The Garden Tea Party’ series. The concept explores the barriers between nature and a manufactured world. Addressing themes of displacement and neglect that question realities and values.
The architectural form of the human body is suggested in a stiff, dismantled structure that has been damaged and worn over time. The fragile form of the mannequin is tested against the growths of foliage, suggesting the constant struggle of nature against man kinds impact. The vegetation has adapted to its surroundings to survive, creating new life and moving towards a new world of ethereal wilderness and beauty.
The piece was inspired by current environmental issues and the human footprint on our surroundings.