If Saturday is anything to go by I’m in for an excellent season. After a hectic week at work I spent most of the day in bed reading and watching TV, leaving its comfy confines only for snacks, bathroom breaks and more snacks.
In case my mum’s reading I did leave the house twice. Once to buy my snacks and a copy of The Saturday Paper (sold out!) and the other to see Jackson Slattery’ exhibition Tunisian Parquetry at Sutton Gallery. This was my first visit to the gallery and I was pretty pleased to find it only around the corner from my house – mostly as this allowed me to stay in my pyjamas for as long as possible.
Sutton Gallery is a gorgeous little gallery located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and at lunchtime my friends and I were the only visitors.
Jackson Slattery is a Melbourne-born, Montreal-based artist, with a growing reputation for his incredibly detailed, photo-realist watercolours. Sutton Gallery have an excellent artist profile you can read here.
Tunisian Parquetry is a series of water colour paintings exploring the methodology behind painting and feature fruit, parquet floor patterning and hands depicted mid gesture. The paintings of fruit and parquet patterning are based on Slattery’s personal interest in Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, who sparked the Arab Spring in December 2010 after lighting himself on fire in an act of political self-immolation, and American basketball player Len Bias, considered to be one of the greatest players not to play at a professional level who died of a cocaine overdose two days after being drafted to the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft. The parquet flooring depicted is taken from photos of the unique stadium flooring of the Boston Celtics’ home arena.
The main gallery features life-like paintings of hands and are the result of the artist questioning how much back-story a viewer should be provided with to understand the visual material an artist chooses to use. Slattery filmed a number of conversations between himself and other artists, filming only the hand movements of the conversations, and used these video stills to create his paintings.
Slattery’s paintings are beautiful and his use of black, not often seen in water colour, is quite striking. I loved the fruit pieces – how Slattery captured the slow drip of paint off an apple or the splash of an apple dropped into water, you can almost hear the plop as it breaks the surface.
Although it’s a fairly small exhibit it’s well worth ducking into if you’re brunching on Brunswick Street anytime soon.
Jackson Slattery: Tunisian Parquetry
7 February – 8 March