Pop into the Art Collective of WA over the next few weeks and you’ll encounter the colourful evolution of one of the state’s most important painters.
Works by Jeremy Kirwan-Ward sit prominently among the finest creations by WA artists that tell stories of our home and times, nature and man-made things.
The current exhibition at the Collective is called Outscapes: Paintings 1971 – 2017. It is a captivating journey of growth, change, artistic development and a quest for perfection spanning five decades.
The opening of the exhibition coincided with the launch of a monograph book, You Can See It From Here, which tells the Kirwan-Ward story through text and beautiful plate reproductions.
Jeremy steers away from realism in his works, preferring to make known dimension, shapes, hues and light that are not always obvious to the eye, yet definitely extant around us.
The effect is a journey into singular interpretation, particularly in his latest paintings.
They are striking, colour-infused constructs in the abstract-surreal, dreamscapes fashioned with architectural precision.
The eye and mind tend to disappear into his works, linger there, before a latent revelation emerges, perhaps a forgotten place, scene, shade, element, even era, shimmering from the natural or synthetic worlds.
Hence there is memory, discovery, affirmation and shifting mood in Jeremy’s pieces.
“My work has always been about the phenomena of the natural world but I don’t have any desire to try to reproduce it literally,” he has said of his paintings.
“In my opinion, paintings should be mysterious and be questions, not answers.
“They should be something you look at continually and have some sort of dialogue with.
“I’m not a ‘thing’ painter. There are plenty of people who paint things. I like to paint things you can’t see.”
Like most committed and passionate artists who are in the game for the long haul, his style and technique have steadily evolved and transformed over time.
His earlier pieces, while clearly deeply considered from a drafting standpoint, relied more on free-form design, with more nebulous shapes and textures to the fore.
In recent years his pieces have become increasingly linear and nuanced, almost mathematically fashioned patterns in a precise admixture of wistful hues and geometric shapes.
Yet the effect is not flat and two-dimensional, a la Mondrian. Clever juxtaposition of tonal shades, symmetrical design and geometric shape, convey an uncanny sense of subtle hypnotic dance between the second and third dimensions.
A large crowd of fans, old and new, turned out for the opening of the Kirwan-Ward showing and book launch last weekend.
The show is roughly configured on the walls so visitors can walk chronologically through the artist’s working years.
This is an exhibition well worth visiting in the new and central Art Collective of WA space behind the Cathedral and across from the old Treasury building.
Outscapes: Paintings 1971 – 2017 runs until Saturday 7 October 2017.
Copies of You Can See It From Here are available at the Art Collective of WA gallery.
More information about this exhibition, book and the Art Collective of WA can be found at:
Phone: (08) 9325 7237
Art Collective of WA
Cathedral Square, 2/565 Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia
Opening Hours: 11am – 4pm Wednesday – Saturday