Upstairs 22 Gallery presents Open heART, Open MIND, in recognition of mental health awareness day (10 October 2019). This is an exhibition based on Georges Braque's quote, "Art is a wound turned into light."
New body of works
Framed works on paper
Douglas Stewart was born and raised in Sydney (Australia). With art-loving parents, Douglas developed an interest and appreciation in art from a young age.
Douglas left school at sixteen to study Musical Composition, playing four different instruments. Whilst he didn’t move into a career in music, Douglas maintains this interest, continuing to write and play music, his preferred genres being blues and folk.
Originally unsure of what path to take, upon graduation from his Musical Composition studies, Douglas followed the family into the technology industry and for a few years worked for a global Telecommunications company. Whilst he felt the pull towards a more creative career, this role taught Douglas the structure and organisation he implements into his life and art today.
Douglas then moved to Hepburn Springs, via Melbourne, where he worked in some of the State’s most well known galleries. Whilst working as an Art Director & Curator, Douglas began focusing on his own creative skills and was soon sponsored by a number of businesses to produce art and run exhibitions for charities. This saw Douglas focus full me on his own art and the start of his art business known as ‘Stewart Spectrum’.
Douglas is a multi-discipline abstract artist with a strong focus on painting, sculptures and works on paper.He has an interest in multi-layered works and his style has been described as “ADHD meets abstract expressionism, with a spoonful of street art styling”. Douglas’ work can now be found in number of galleries around Hepburn Springs, Daylesford and Melbourne, with current plans for expansion to North America.
Whilst canvas is currently his most commonly used medium, feeling passionate about reducing landfill, he also transforms ‘trash’ into artworks, using discarded materials, tree trunks and old artworks. Douglas hopes to show that there is beauty in accidents and flaws.
Douglas Stewart pieces are often identifiable by the outlines, smudges, multi-layered scrapes, strong use of abstracted faces and form, with a key element of motivation being mood.
Series Profile: Insomnia
Created through a lack of sleep and a state of insomniac artistic trance, the series was a form of venting and expressing when Douglas could not sleep. The medium consists of charcoal and soft pastels.
A mixture of characters and landscape type themed works, each displaying the thoughts and ideas of what was keeping Douglas up that night. Spanning from the worst of his insomnia until the end of recovery, the works take a journey through a variety of composition and tones.
All works are carefully framed and a majority of the works can be either bought separately or created into sets to compliment their intended location.
Exhibition Title: Atrabilious: Depression of the Spirit
20 mt Drawing Installation
Charcoal on Paper
Inspiration for this installation came from the drought, which has brought about the death of many of Australia's unique waterways and exquisite native trees. Depression of the Spirit relates not only to the withering spirit of the trees themselves but ourselves as residents living through the hardship incurred through the drought - living through the harsh reality of losing livestock, crops, or farms. We battle a depression within ourselves and our world, as we witness an environment in its death throes and our culture in decline.
"My intention is to engulf the audience in these visually textual images, just as the gallery walls are engulfed, to enable a sense of being “in” the drawings themselves. This is certainly to challenge, if not overwhelm the audience. However, the response elicited is not only emotional, for as much as depression is a form of living death, it can and should inspire a sense of revelation, creating light and understanding through tragedy."
New body of works
Carley Harris is inspired by curiosities, anomalies and anatomy, using her fascination and the skulls and bones found on her travels, Harris creates strange but familiar imagery with a dark aesthetic.
Blood and Bones, is a collection of works inspired by her fascination with medical imagery and curiosities, it is also a look inside the artists mind. "My mind is often cluttered and chaotic, I don’t always have a meaning or reason behind my work, I make these gritty and grungy works because I enjoy the aesthetic they give. But as I look deeper into my work I feel it is a form of cleansing, getting out the grit that’s builds up in the mind and turning it into art.
Belinda J Nailon
I initially began these works with the intention of exploring 2nd generation PTSD. My dad is a Vietnam war veteran and has suffered from PTSD his whole adult life. "Triggers" and psychological trauma filter down to the next generation, but instead of observing Dad's story, I decided to study my own personal (some inherited) 'mind grenades'.
In this collection, the grenades symbolise potential chaos. But if you get to them before the trigger is released, before they cause destruction, it is possible to transmute the fragile collection of pain and hurt into objects of abstract beauty (handle with care). The pieces are reminders of not to turn back and to seek a wider understanding of who I am. I find growth doesn't come from reliving my past, but by observing 'who' is perceiving the moment and allowing a broader level of consciousness to converge into my existence.