August 9 - August 23 2014
"Having recently moved to a bushland property on the side of a hill, I am on a journey of discovery," says Steve Tyerman. "It feels as though we are on the threshold of wild territory, or surrounded by it. This is a ‘frontier' that we explore and respect. My work expresses the joys and challenges of living and creating in such a wondrous and ancient landscape."
Although representations of a specific location, Tyerman's art communicates a visual experience beyond the strictures of traditional landscape painting. His vistas manifest a palpability as considerations of form, space, colour and light are resolved in the immediacy of gesture and densely textured surfaces. This fusion of descriptive and abstract elements gives an aesthetic potency that defies pictorial conventions. "I like an image that tenaciously clings onto reality by the fingernails. If it somehow works, but everything tells you it shouldn't, then it must be revealing a new slice of reality," comments Tyerman. "I am trying to create a legible, evocative image by the most abstract means."
Tyerman tells of the challenge of painting the Australian bush without direct recourse to the likes of Streeton, McCubbin, Tucker, Nolan, Boyd or Williams. "How do you overcome the tangle of forms and shapes, the visual claustrophobia, the relentless verticality of the trees and the overwhelming green and brown coloration?" he ponders. Instinctual energy permeates Tyerman's works which are characterised by an intense involvement in the materiality of paint. An intimate engagement with his surrounds has prepared him for the very risky process of trowelling thick slabs of oil paint across the canvas. Colour is exaggerated; the vivid greens and purples amplifying the sensory experience.
Each painting references an aspect of the artist's property or local environs as in the extremely masterful Going Home and The Old Bridge. The Hillside canvas translates the panorama from Tyerman's balcony "where the land drops steeply away to some paddocks and a small valley, then a beautiful and inhospitable hillside rises sharply to encompass our view. Morning through to evening it is constantly changing, endlessly entrancing and impossible to capture."
A manicured, grassy lawn where deep shadows play in the shifting light marks a boundary between human habitation and the ‘frontier' wilds beyond. Works including Hillside, To the Studio and Balcony View, Late Arvo channel the delight Tyerman finds in this immersive atmosphere. Here is a quietude broken only by the call of flashing birds, the occasional grunting of a koala and the thumping of a wallaby passing through.
The River painting is the vista from the local pub where a lazy lunch often involves sketching the scene on napkins or the back of coasters. Tyerman's house and studio are situated directly above the tiny bridge in the distance. And Share a Secret With the Trees has the visual cadence of a favourite Yeats' poem. "I guess for me it embodies the quiet contemplation, the solace and creative inspiration we find in, or in front of, nature," he reflects. The New Frontiers exhibition is a declaration of the artist's sense of personal freedom. We want to linger over the images for the aesthetic pleasure they give us and to share the exultation of a nature-intoxicated man.
Steve Tyerman was Winner of the Inaugural APA Innovation Award - The Artist Revealed exhibition 2012. He has been a Finalist in the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007; Stan and Maureen Duke Prize 2011; Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2011; Redland Art Award 2010; Mortimore Prize 2010; Tattersall's Club Landscape Art Prize 2009; Highly Commended - Border Art Prize 2007 and Finalist in the Norvill Art Prize 2006. Tyerman was Artist in Residence at 'The Croydon', Centre for Art, Design and Technology, PLC Sydney 2008. His work is represented in the GCCG Collection and the PLC Collection, Sydney. He has Bachelor Degree BBCE (1st Class Hons, University Medal), UTS 1993-1997.
The exhibition 'Steve Tyerman - New Frontiers' is showing at Anthea Polson Art, Shop 120 Mariners Cove, Seaworld Drive Main Beach QLD 4217 (next to Marina Mirage), from August 9 - August 23 2014