Louise Zhang is a Chinese-Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. Spanning painting, sculpture and installation, her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.
Nianhua (年画) is a popular kind of print in China adorning people’s doors to celebrate the new year and to act as a sign of good will that says goodbye to the past and hello to the future. A great portion of these print depict pudgy babies in states of low-key glee as they recline on giant flowers, rid fish or cuddle peaches; it’s a concoction of sweetness that just makes you want to spew up all over the place.
‘New Year Rot!’ brings together this Nianhua imagery with the visual language of the realm of purgatory known in Chinese mythology as Diyu (地獄). This project is a continuation of the artist’s recent research into how situating her desire to attract and repulse her audience is a consequence of the kinds of feelings the horror film genre, and particularly body-horror, generates.
Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.
In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.
Bradley Eastman aka Beastman is an multidisciplinary artist from Sydney, Australia. Influenced by the biodiversity, symbolism and design aesthetics behind nature’s repetitive geometric growth patterns and organic landscapes, Beastman’s paintings, digital illustration, commercial projects and public murals explore a unique visual language, depicting future environments of abstracted landscapes, potential new life forms and human intervention.
New Zealand-born photographer based in Sydney, Australia Simon Davidson has been photographing the sub-culture of burnout competitions in Australia. Davidson has become recognized as one of Australia’s leading photographers. Self-taught, he has created a successful career photographing a wide variety of subjects, creating content in both the advertising and editorial environments internationally.
With his Burnout series he recognizes beauty where it’s not immediately obvious. He finds expression in a car spinning its rear wheels with the single purpose of destruction. His images are superbly composed contemplations of the moment. Slices in time that hold the gaze with car, driver and movement balanced in an ideal expression of a sublime modernity.
“The guys and girls who compete in the various competitions across Australia are a passionate bunch. As a photographer I enjoy the visual feast of a superb and powerful car on the black of the burnout pad juxtaposed against the softness of the tire smoke. In reality a burnout is extremely loud and aggressive but in the photos there is a sense of calm… poetic in a way.” Simon Davidson
Andrew Archer is an illustrator and art director who was born in Auckland, New Zealand and currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by pop culture, fashion, surrealism, wood block prints and his time spent in Asia his work is a self asserting mix of hallucinogenic color and rhythmic line.
Madbutt is a Brisbane, Australia based artist who experiments with hand cut and digital collage using mixed media. She uses her laptop when she is travelling and in between hand cut works. She keeps it simple using an application called Pixelmator.
When she is doing hand cut collage she uses an xacto scalpel, archival glue, a ruler, pencil and cutting board. She has used different paints in the past but she feels as though she could have more fun using this medium with larger works. She tries to hold off on using vintage materials until she is 100% sure that she has a great concept to work with.
Surface often provides the dominant metaphor in the work of Sally Bourke and more recently this has turned towards thinking about the nature of fabric and its relationship to skin with its capacity to project an image of self and to protect at one and the same time.
The faces and scenes she portrays in her work are attempts to make reconciliations with her past, live in the present and imagine the future. She paints people from the inside out. At any given moment she is working on around ten to twenty paintings at a time in the studio. That way she can sit with them and see which demands her attention the most. She works across multiple mediums and is constantly experimenting with them to create new ways of telling her stories.
Under the pseudonym Auf Wiedersehen, Jacqueline Smith hails from Melbourne, Australia. She draws and watercolors shy girls for us to comfort and sculpts tiny landscapes for us to explore, toeing the border between reality and the secret worlds of our imagination.
Auf Wiedersehen — translating not to goodbye but to ‘until we see each other again’ – stands for beauty behind impermanence, and helps us to feel that not all that is gone is lost or forgotten. We are the land and the land is us, and Auf Wiedersehenwants to invite others into her thoughts and share what’s in there.
Sydney, Australia based artist Ben Smith’s paintings are an attempt to combine the beautiful and the unsettling, the humorous and the sincere, the banal and the uncanny in order to reflect his experience of life. Recurring themes in his work are doubt, divergence within a personality and the search for comfort and solace. These themes are explored through multi-layered allegory, using various expressive possibilities of paint.
Queensland based artist Chloe Bennett is an Australian illustrator who studied Visual Arts in the Northern Territory and on the North Coast of Australia.
Bennett works across a range of mediums focusing on the juxtaposition of the natural/bizarre and has an unhealthy obsession with popular culture. Her work sees the pairing of these two concepts, along with the study of the color to create strange, aesthetically pleasing works.