Belynda Henry at work on a canvas. [photo: Chloe Heuchan, Instagram]
Digital printing has come a long way, but there’s still no substitute for an authentic artwork, with its subtle variations of colour and texture, whether in oil, gouache or watercolour.
Buying an original painting, as opposed to a print, can be daunting, but also super rewarding – knowing you’ve nabbed a one-off, that you’re supporting an up-and-coming artist, and that your investment will be enjoyed for many years to come.
So if your walls could do with a little love, read on, as Australian gallery owners and those in the know recommend their favourite young artists.
Sophie Gannon, Sophie Gannon Gallery
"Paul is a contemporary artist, currently based in Los Angeles. His first exhibition with Sophie Gannon Gallery starts on 18 November and follows on from a sell-out showing at the Melbourne Art Fair in August."
"Adam’s work has been incredibly well received by collectors and curators alike, and his ability to bring attention to the enduring subject of still-life makes him an important contemporary painter."
Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond VIC 3121, (03) 9421 0857.
Kate Ford, Exhibition Coordinator, Koskela
"A landscape painter, who's inspired by the countryside surrounding her home on the NSW Central Coast. We love the beautiful colour palette used by Belynda, and her emotive and sensitive responses to the natural world around her. Belynda’s works offer some kind of respite and tranquility – there is something very calming about her pieces." (Exhibiting at Koskela 14 March - 26 April, 2015.)
"A Sydney-based sculptor, who will be creating a suite of his powder-coated metal pieces. His futuristic looking works sit well both within large-scale warehouse spaces, such as Koskela, and smaller-scale domestic environments. There is a real sense of grace and movement to these pieces." (Exhibiting at Koskela 2 May - 14 June, 2015.)
Koskela, 85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018, (02) 9280 0999.
Edwina Corlette, Edwina Corlette Gallery
"Amber approaches her painting practice with a huge energy and a quiet ambition, two factors which are important in determining how far an artist will go in their career. Her physical landscapes begin with ‘hitting the canvas all out’ and result in a colour palette and composition that’s eternally engaging."
"Carla’s technique has drawn great attention. Exuberant brush strokes and marbled skies uniquely capture light, shadow and shape across immense spaces. The purity of colour in her works also purveys a sense of mysticism bordering on the spiritual."
Edwina Corlette Gallery, 2/555 Brunswick St, New Farm QLD 4005, (07) 3358 6555.
Martin McIntosh, Outré Gallery
"Many know LA-based husband and wife collaborative artists Kozy and Dan Kitchens for their finely detailed, narrative panoramic prints or their contemporary take on classic Hokusai works, especially their ‘Bunnywave’ piece titled ‘Uprisings’. Their work is still relatively affordable and original works can start as little as $500."
Outré Gallery, 249-251 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 9642 5455; Shop 7/285a Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, (02) 9332 2776.
Insider tips for snapping up art
1. "If you find an artist you are interested in, ask to be put on the waiting list at the gallery," advises Sophie Gannon. "People are often frustrated when they arrive at an opening only to find red dots on everything. If you are on the waiting list, you get to see the works before everyone else and hopefully one of those red dots is yours!"
2. "We like to make sure our exhibitions are accessible to the widest possible audience," says Kate Ford of Koskela. "As a general rule, all artworks are for sale from 9am on the date of the public exhibition opening, so get in early. For people that can’t make it into our Rosebery space, we can send out the list of works so they can cast their eyes over what’s on offer and call in to make a purchase. Social media is a real advantage as well, to show works in progress and offer little teasers of what to expect as exhibited outcomes. We always encourage people to get on our mailing list, and follow our social media feeds."
3. "If you get the chance to meet the artist on the opening day, that is always a bonus as it offers a bit more insight into the process and story behind the work," adds Ford. "It’s always nice to know the person who created the beautiful piece that you buy and treasure for a lifetime."
4. "I would definitely recommend being on a waiting list. Often paintings will be sold before a show officially opens," says Martin McIntosh of Outré Gallery. "Our first and foremost tip when purchasing art is to buy something you love and want to have on your wall. We are always sceptical of people selling art 'as an investment'; one can buy shares if looking for an investment. Having a work on your wall that speaks to you and gives you enjoyment is money well spent."