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 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
Posted on February 7, 2013
On the last weekend before leaving for Broome, I had the chance to have a sneaky-peek preview of Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ upcoming solo exhibition “A Thousand Lights From A Hundred Skies”. Jinn and I have been closely following Kyle’s work for a number of years – chances you have been too, perhaps without even knowing it! Kyle’s work can be found almost everywhere in Perth, from street murals in Northbridge, Subiaco and Claremont, to a shop wall in Pigeonhole, to a mural at Murdoch University. He has also travelled around the world, painting in such places as New York, Berlin and Cambodia. His stuff is unmistakeably awesome and incredibly distinctive, quirky yet somehow manages to grab your attention, hold it, then twist your heart strings in an inexplicable way – that’s some talent.
Kyle’s last exhibition in Perth was held two years ago. We were a bit lackadaisical about attending and missed the opening night, and by the time we eventually got there we were devastated to find that all the works had been sold! We vowed from then on and henceforth that we would not be such lazy butts when his next collection came around. Jinn had been following the progress and preparation for this upcoming exhibition closely on Twitter and Instagram and we were determined not to miss out this time. I was heartbroken when the opening date was announced – I was going to be in Broome. But unbeknownst to me, Jinn got in contact with the lovely people from Turner Galleries to say that we were interested in purchasing a work, and we were granted an early preview of the works which were actually already hanging in the gallery, ready for exhibiting!
It was seriously my lucky day/dream come true/prayers answered/fairy godmother moment. What an experience to get to see Kyle’s latest collection of works in their entirety, and with a somewhat behind-the-scenes commentary/guided tour with Helen, the lovely Gallery Director who let us in that day. She even showed us some older works of his from previous collections. It totally added yet another dimension and depth to viewing the paintings and an insight into how his style has evolved over the years.
We oohed and aahed and admired the works, and then we ummed and aahed while we vacillated between which one we would choose. And then – we did it! We went with our initial gut instincts and chose “A Future Life”. After the exhibition we’ll get to bring our very first piece of original art home (i.e. not a print!) and find the perfect bit of wall for it where we will undoubtedly continue to enjoy it.
Be sure to check out the exhibition! Kyle Hughes-Odgers is a locally grown talent who is taking on the international stage in a serious way – watch this space and see him explode, I guarantee it.
“A Thousand Lights From a Hundred Skies”
Feb 8 – March 9 2013
470 Williams St Northbridge
Posted on December 21, 2012
The week before Christmas is always a tad “cray cray” (cue pumping Jay-Z and Kanye music). This year’s been a bit different as I’ve been working pretty much every single weekend this month, causing me to miss out on all the usual pre-holiday shopping rush, which means I’ve not even seen a single department store Christmas display (bristling with armies of Santas, Rudolphs and Frosties) or heard any carols on loop! (Silver bells…Silver beeeells…!) So it’s crept up on me really suddenly!
1. Baking cupcakes (Unsuccessfully trying to do the “pro” looking icing on top. Any tips?).
2. Jinn’s new Creepy t-shirt from Ruck Rover. I bought this for his Christmas present but he clearly couldn’t wait a few more days!
3. Yet another obsession (What. Aside from vintage cameras, cacti, bow ties, coffee and things with chevrons on them?) – vinyl records. Newly acquired by Jinn, clockwise from top left: The Beatles – Hey Jude, Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend, Kimbra – Vows, The Fugees – The Score.
5. An early Christmas present/belated birthday present from a girlfriend! Apparently it’ll grow into a miniature garden if you place it on a windowsill and water it ever so often! Check out Postcarden here.
6. Rach and Nat – artistic flair at its best.
7. Gabrielle (I like to call her Yo Gabba Gabba, but no one else knows that yet. Do you think it’ll catch on?) – She’s growing so fast!
8. Schnooks relaxing after a long day of…relaxing.