Posted on October 21, 2013
Last Friday we went down to William St for the opening of Outre Gallery’s new exhibition Loco Locals, featuring a number of local Perth artists showing off their mad skillz and wares. It was a busy evening! The already cosy Outre Gallery was jam packed full of art fans eager to see new works from their favourite artists. As usual, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ pieces and had to remind myself about our hefty mortgage and Jinn’s looming 30th birthday to prevent myself from puchasing (another) one! However, all the pieces of art were top notch and I’m sure they won’t stay unpurchased for long.
The exhibition finishes on 1st November so hurry on down and check it out before it’s too late!
Martin E Wills
Loco Locals exhibition / Outré Gallery / 260 William St Northbridge / Saturday 19th October to Friday 1st November
Posted on May 21, 2013
Wanting to do something a little different to the usual gallery hopping, we jumped at the chance to see the David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum (or V&A for short) in London. Come on! An exhibition about one of the greatest music and fashion legends of all time that’s sponsored by Gucci and Sennheiser – haw yeah!
I have to admit, my ardent love for Bowie was something that crept up very gradually over the years. I’d hear songs on the radio or on TV shows and be like, “Woah, that’s so good”, then I’d google/Shazam them, and I kept coming up with a common theme – they were all by none other than David Bowie! This made me explore his back catalogue more and more, and I just kept striking gold.
Not only is Bowie a groundbreaker and major influence in the music world but he also never failed to make a massive statement with his fashion choices, constantly remaking himself to smash down new boundaries. He mastered androgyny with his 70s alter-ego Ziggy Stardust and has often collaborated with avant garde designers to create his outlandish stage costumes.
The V&A hosts a large collection of Bowie’s actual onstage outfits, instruments and even snippets of original lyrics – it was simply amazing to see them in real life. The exhibition also allowed us a greater insight into his early days before he finally “made it” and we learnt interesting trivia such as the fact that one of his pupils is permanently dilated after a fisticuff-related injury! And here I always thought he deliberately wore some kind of fancy contact lens!
After spending a couple of hours immersed in the fantastical world of Bowie, we recharged our batteries with hot chocolates in a courtyard overlooked by a number of the museum’s lovely red-bricked facades. If you happen to be traipsing around London any time soon, this exhibition needs to be added to your must-see list! The online tickets have long sold out but you can still buy tickets at the museum. We arrived at opening at 10:00am and managed to get tickets to the 10:30am admittance, and I highly recommend you do the same!
Posted on February 14, 2013
Last Friday Jinn attended the opening of Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ exhibition “A Thousand Lights From A Hundred Skies” (so jealous!). He got the chance to have a chat with the talented artist himself about his work and inspiration behind it. I wish with all my heart I could have been there too! See what he wrote about the evening below.
“I love your stuff man.”
He turns a bearded grin in my direction.
Kyle Hughes-Odgers seems like a really nice bloke. When I tell him that Sarah and I were really huge fans of his work, he almost seems surprised. Shocked even. Never mind the hundred or so people milling around inside Turner Galleries just to see his latest exhibition. He still seems genuinely appreciative of the praise. Some people are just nice people it seems. And super artistically talented too!
“So Sarah’s up in Broome?” Clearly he reads the blog!
“Yep,” I tell him. “I’m here by myself for six months. Have to work, you know.”
He laughs. “So you’re manning the fort by yourself,” he says. I nod.
Kyle is such an accessible person and his art is so accessible too. But it doesn’t baby you. It doesn’t give you obvious answers. He draws you in with gorgeous geometric shapes, interesting patterns, colours and symmetry — but beyond that, he makes you look, he makes you think. The figures he depicts are almost child-like in their simplicity — yet at a certain level, the art holds something back, encouraging you to forage deeper for meaning.
“I think art needs to be more than just aesthetically pleasing, otherwise it just becomes design,” Kyle explains.
“It needs to be open to interpretation. I make each piece or body of work around a specific set of concepts or ideas that make sense to me but I wouldn’t want the work/concepts to be so obvious or based purely on aesthetics that the viewer can’t see or understand an idea that links to their own personal experience. I don’t think a painting works if you know exactly what the artist is trying to say at first glance.
“There needs to be multiple layers to keep me interested.”
Earlier I had spoken to gallery director Helen Turner about her view of Kyle’s current works. She talks with passion and enthusiasm. She is obviously a big fan!
“A lot of these paintings depict the struggle between the natural and industrial world,” she says.
“We see those figures struggling to find balance between the man-made and natural world, and we identify with them. I think we all yearn for a more natural life, but just like the figures depicted, we don’t always get there.”
Kyle goes on to explain further: “I’m just highlighting something that bothers me about the modern world. Human advancement at all costs even if it means we are destroying our natural environment. As long as we have our fill in our lifetime. It’s a horrible attitude to being alive.”
And what of the figures themselves? Some of them seem particularly sad. Are any of them based on himself, for example? (Some of them do have a passing resemblance to the man! Especially with that beard!)
Kyle laughs. “None of the figures are identifiably me, but… I think subconsciously, artists do tend to portray themselves in their work,” he says.
“The figures are something that has developed over time. I try to show moments of hope or optimism amidst the weight of their surroundings or situation.
“My recent work has been focusing on ideas of ingenuity and practical creativity within a narrative. Paintings about knowing what you need to do to change a situation but not having the skill set or mechanisms to do so. So there is a melancholy to the work.”
We talk for a bit longer, about his experiences overseas (he loved Cambodia and New York); painting up in Port Hedland (he loved painting the big abandoned bus in the middle of the desert); his plans for the future (to be based in Perth, but travel some more), his opinion of the arts scene in Perth (its growing, expanding, improving!).
After talking for several minutes, Kyle attention is taken — another gallery devotee has grasped his hand with a firm handshake. He looks like a friend of his.
“A Thousand Lights From a Hundred Skies”
Feb 8 – March 9 2013
470 Williams St Northbridge