John Giese


October 17 - October 31 2015

Profound philosophical musings underpin the robustness emanating from John Giese’s works.The power of interconnectedness and transformation starts within us. And the possibilities are endless,” he declares.I became particularly interested in the nature of form, how tiny particles come together in almost infinite combinations to create the living universe. These particles are continuously moving, sometimes coming into being and/or retreating into nothingness. The fact that they consist mainly of empty space I found deeply compelling, both for the far reaching implications when considering the nature of the material world, but also the mystery of it.” 

Recently relocated from the Northern Rivers area down to Brooms Head, Giese tells of how it was significant move in many instances. This sleepy coastal village girdled by national parks has changed little since the family holidays spent there as a child. “Coming back here represents a falling back into those times,” says Giese. “This is an environment that generates energy. Out of range from the urban jangle, one is more directly in touch with the rhythm of nature.”

Giese’s intimate engagement with the natural environment informs his creative process. “I am fascinated with ideas of impermanence, the interconnectedness and interdependence of life; the fluid, changeable nature of form. I use my art as a way of exploring these concepts.” He tells of how he now has no hesitation in approaching the canvas. “I feel free to demolish something I’ve been working on and change it into something completely new. The composition constantly adapts and morphs with the energies surging about and through me.”

The recurring motifs in Giese’s paintings - the horse, the bull and the dog - also come from “an authentic place”. He describes these animals as “core imprints”. They manifest memories of childhood experiences at his uncles’ farms: being put on a horse at the age of three; observing with awe the power of massive bulls; the companionship of the ubiquitous dogs “hanging around”. The smell, the sound and feel of the animals remain deeply embedded. Giese recalls too, when twenty wild brumbies once roamed heath-covered plains and paperbark forests surrounding Brooms Head. Only one wily stallion now remains and phantom-like, it can occasionally be glimpsed in the early hours near his studio that backs onto the reserve.

The colourful immediacy of Giese’s imagery holds emblematic import. “In the simplest terms, I paint what I love - animals and the mystical, magical beauty of all life. The present body of work explores the relationship between form and intangible experience. I use patterning and symbology to point to an underlying interconnectedness and a shared structure. Movement is an intrinsic and permanent flux existing in all things, as well as being the sign and measure of space, and time, and memory. However, beyond all theory and conceptualising, painting for me is a mysterious, non-verbal dialogue between perception, feeling and paint, deeply rooted in realities that I am still exploring.”

John Giese holds a Fine Art Graduate Diploma, Lismore TAFE and has presented numerous solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and the Northern Rivers region. He is a regular finalist in local art prizes, winning the works on canvas prize at the Southern Cross Art Festival, 2006 and has been awarded several Public Art Commissions.

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