Yvette Coppersmith · Summer Arrangements

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith is a new discovery for us, though she’s a prolific and well respected part of Melbourne’s talented community of artists, and if I’m honest, we really should have profiled her long before now!

Yvette’s latest body of work will be exhibited at Fort Delta Gallery in Melbourne this week, in a show entitled ‘Summer Arrangements’.

Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. Since then, her practice has expanded and evolved to encompass various styles of painting, from working in photorealist portraiture, to more gestural figures, interiors, and most recently still life.

‘My influences have changed vastly over the past 14 years, it’s a case of constantly aligning my practice with the kinds of work that inspires me’ says Yvette. ‘That sense of breaking new ground – progressions and new challenges I develop through my craft – is what’s exciting’.

Yvette cites many local artists and contemporaries as key influences in her work, they include Jake Walker, Josey Kidd Crowe, Kirra Jamison, Oscar Perry, Meredith Turnbull and Esther Stewart.  Added to these reference points are Yvette’s own life experiences, particularly a trip to Spain in 2012, where she spent time viewing a number of key works by Picasso. ‘The Cubist influence has recognisably seeped into my work’ she explains, ‘I love the flexibility to move between different ways of working’.

Yvette’s latest body of work will be exhibited at Fort Delta Gallery in Melbourne’s CBD this week, in a show entitled ‘Summer Arrangements’. This collection of still life paintings came into being over the quiet summertime in Melbourne, inspired by spontaneous social gatherings with fellow artists and creatives.

‘The camaraderie of the art world is quieter over Summer, when galleries are closed, and so I invited art friends over for BBQs and asked them to bring objects from their home, or studio, or a garden picked bloom to add to my arrangements’ explains Yvette. These festive social gatherings provided a starting point for Yvette’s creative process. It was the energy and encouragement of Yvette’s talented friends, as much as the objects they contributed, which helped to inform this body of work.  ‘I have taken the objects as a visual starting point, and they’ve informed my work in the same way that artist friendships shape and help incubate creative work’ she says.

It’s set to be a busy year for Yvette.  After this show, she will collaborate with friend and fellow local artist Sanne Maestrom to create a series of still life works depicting Sanne’s sculptural pieces.  Then, in April, Yvette heads to the Northern Territory to work alongside local communities of artists, in a residency which will see her run workshops on painting and colour mixing.  Yvette is excited about this opportunity, ‘no doubt we’ll be learning from each other, and I’ll come back with a changed perspective’ she says.

Summer Arrangements by Yvette Coppersmith
Open from 5 – 28 March
Fort Delta Gallery
Shop 59, Capitol Arcade (Basement Level)
113 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, VIC

Blue Hydrangeas, Leaves in Plastic Cup‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 86.5cm x 61cm, 2015.

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