Monthly Archives: March 2011
Here we have a visual artistry studio of a contemporary uniqueness that would most likely be lost on your grandparents; although the website might also remind you of old-fashioned items reminiscent of back in the day. While Shea himself has not yet opted for parenthood; let alone becoming a grandfather, his works do brood over you with an inclination of the wise and weathered. He describes himself as a “frail pencil wielding artist, hermit and narrow-minded fuddy duddy“ which is demonstrated by his socially macabre thematic inclinations, amidst the quirk of his website.
The art is composed of black-and-white charcoal, graphite pencil and ink: illustrative works. He uses innovative printing techniques in adhering to his environmental conscience, sourcing “100% post-consumer recycled stock and vegetable based inks“. The subjects of most pieces are cariacatures of the everyman and of personality or identity; people posing as victims of circumstance, situation. Particularly striking are those that puncture a hole in the sense of the banal and most compelling in this is his Gradation of a Woman and Education pieces.
Grandpa Shea continues to refine his styles with the aid of his quirky imaginations (or realisations?). The studio resides online at Grandpastudios.com and on facebook.com/grandpashea -definitely worth perusing!
This is a novella of the first order, by acclaimed 20th Century author John Steinbeck.
Although quite concise; this piece of literature manages to engage in a parable of political observation that belies the modern social gestation in the United States (it was published in 1947). However, you are not at once drawn to its extra-narrative influence. The story takes precedence in the way in which The Pearl is recieved.
Set on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in a sleepy fishing town the story depicts local American Indians living in relative squalour to their European expatriate masters. Henceforth, the moral tale is wound from our protagonist‘s discovery of a mighty pearl of such amazing beauty that it “rose to an aching chord that caught the throat, saying this is safety, this is warmth, this is the Whole” and the events that unfold around him and the power of wealth over man -to empower him or perhaps to destroy him? And herein lies the political framework for your consideration. This literature is certainly as profound as it is ambiguous; an inspiring novel to comfort those of any political persuasion or, indeed anyone with an eye for a good read.
Carl “Synchronicity“ Scrase is a Melbourne born-and-bred artist; an exile of the leafy suburban bourgeoise set. From this somewhat culturally tethered outlook, Scrase resolved to “change the world“ through art. Immediately following his graduation from the VCA Fine Arts (Painting) programme, Scrase hit the ground running with an impressive display of works. As an exhibitor in the Next Wave Festival, he was accordingly represented in the esteemed Melbourne Art Fair. Subsequently, Scrase has maintained his artistic integrity with shows at local ARIs (Artist Run Initiatives) including TCB Waratah Place, and as part of the Platform Artists Group in the Degraves Subway. He says that some of his greatest influences come from “psychologists, philosophers and writers; Carl Jung, Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins” and I believe you may well be able to detect shades of Half Asleep in Frogs Pajamas in some of his works.
As stated, Scrase endeavours to change the world and has established a framework in doing so; using a three-pronged approach that encompasses (documented) personal introspection, his pronounced tactility in objets d‘art, and in seeking to determine the nature of societal reflex and the possibility of such an endeavour. Although I define these 3 directions in my own words; his Artistic Statement can be found on the carlscrase.com website. I must also comment that within these endeavours it is clear in my mind, that Scrase has achieved such a pronouncement in the tactility of his art. This was most recently seen in his 14-metre tall The Generative Power of Opposites; an inflated “2-finger salute“ that was featured at the Splendour In The Grass festival and then re-mounted during February at the Perth Cultural Centre.
But of course you must see his art to make of it what you will, yourself. Carl “Synchronicity“ Scrase (or) his Wemakeus Collective will no doubt be exhibiting at a gallery near you.
Psychological landscape of a man flying off the planet.
Photo Collage on Wood, 2010
Carl Scrase is represented by John Buckley Gallery in Richmond.