Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Inspiration - Elise Hurst

It's cold. Today it felt really cold. This makes it both easier and harder to work. Easier, because you're not tempted to go outside and do outside things. Harder, because you just want to stay inside and do inside things which include: watching TV (in particular, Masterchef - this is my obsession, not Kim's - I think he'd want me to make that clear), baking things, reading books, poking around on the internet and well, I could go on, but you get the idea. We've also had colds, which is miserable all round.

But in an effort to ignite the creative spark, last week I saw Elise Hurst's exhibition Strangely Familiar at No Vacancy. It was a gorgeous exhibition - so lush. The paintings tied together extremely well - you could definitely see a thematic and coherent link between them all. I loved the nostalgia of the settings, the vibrant but also muted colours, the skillfully rendered characters of the animals and the stories present in the works. It felt nostalgic yet new at the same time, evocative of childhood but sophisticated too. The paintings were so layered that a kid could enjoy them at face value but an adult could read into them all sorts of things about history, society and human nature. I loved the way you could create your own narrative for what's going on inside the frame. I'm very jealous of those lucky new owners of the many works that sold. Loved it! Absolutely loved it.

The show's finished now but if you want to check out Elise Hurst's work have a look at her website. She is also at regular markets around Melbourne and is also usually working on a painting at her stall - she is also very lovely and approachable.

Below is something Elise was working on during the course of the exhibition. This gives a feel of the style and colours of many of the paintings and the way animals are used as characters in very human scenarios. I will definitely be getting along to see future exhibitions...

(c) Elise Hurst