John Cullinane’s paintings have a singular capacity to sweep us away on flights of the imagination and fancy.
The Perth painter’s evocative pieces often draw on legend, folklore and fable, but he also uses everyday contemporary scenes and situations to powerfully convey mood and circumstance.
Gallows Galley, Mosman Park, has kicked off the winter season with a charming solo exhibition by the popular artist.
And judging by the number red stickers that already festoon the space, it has fans and buyers intrigued.
John explained observing the community during the pandemic inspired many of his paintings; and this, combined with his penchant for allegory, has generated an highly inspired show.
Exotic locations, surreal backgrounds, and suggestive circumstances mix with commonplace scenarios to trigger our curiosity and interest. These paintings always become talking points.
The artist’s minimalist and controlled technique, rendered in soft and subtle hues on linen and canvas, add to the understated impact of his creations.
His brushwork is soft, controlled and delicate, while scenes are carefully considered for narrative effect.
“Drawing from reality, the imagination and using symbols, I construct paintings that may succeed I hope, in conveying an objective emotion to the viewer,” says John.
“For me it is about emphasis on formal values without being too rigid. I like to follow that fine line between opposites, a binary position I suppose, and see where it takes me.”
He says imagination and observation are key to his works.
“An idea will come from any source, such as something or someone, an event, a book, a discussion, politics, any media whatever,” he say.
“I like to be open at all times to capture the idea when it comes, but many ideas escape, never to be found.”
John Cullinane has been exhibiting regularly for 30 years; this is the 19th solo exhibition under his belt.
His paintings can be found in many important local and interstate public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Parliament House Canberra, Murdoch University, University of WA, Curtin University, Bankwest, Edith Cowan University, Royal Perth Hospital, North Metropolitan TAFE and several local council collections.
Kerry Stokes, Barry Humphries and Carrillo Gantner are some of the well-known collectors who have Cullinane works.
His pieces can also be found in collections in Japan, Germany, Ireland, England, Canada and USA.
The John Cullinane solo exhibition runs at Gallows Gallery until Sunday 20 June.
Gallows – Gallery – 53 Glyde Street, Mosman Park