This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Ash Keating

Studio Visit

Ash Keating makes enormous paintings, sometimes 20-metres tall. His practice is intensely physical and almost performative – an exploration of colour, movement, paint, water, air and gravity. The resulting works are a feat of logistics as much as they are an artistic expression.

This month, Ash exhibits Gravity System Response‘, a collection of 20 vast, vibrant paintings on linen, created in the artist’s Brunswick studio.

 

3rd April, 2017

Layers
-

‘Days after this photo shoot much of the lighter pink tones were flooded with intense, dark magenta pigment,’ tells Ash. ‘I really wanted the works to be more visceral and less dreamy at that point.’ Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Ash Keating
-

The artist in his Brunswick studio. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Studio Details
-

‘I have attempted to create a hybrid of both my public and studio painting practices – a balance in the immediacy and vibrancy of my large fire extinguisher murals and the amalgamation of deeper palettes in the studio works,’ says Ash.  Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

New Works
-

Ash Keating pictured with works-in-progress for his show at Melbourne’s Meat Market throughout April. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Painting
-

The artist at work. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Prep
-

The artist prepping paint in his vast studio. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Studio Details
-

Inside Ash’s Brunswick studio. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Bane?
-

No, it’s not Bane from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, it’s Ash diligently donning some PPE! Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Details
-

Tool of Ash’s trade. Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 3rd April 2017

Ash Keating is obsessive. The Brunswick based artist has a unique practice which usually involves filling recycled fire extinguishers with huge quantities of paint, and using these as a means to create immense, vibrant wall murals up to 20-metres high. You might have seen his work as part of Melbourne Now in 2013,  or more recently, at The Victorian College of the Arts for Sugar Mountain festival in 2016 (well worth a squiz at this video to get your head around the scale of Ash’s public works!).

Attracted to the physicality, movement and performative aspect of working on a grand scale, Ash’s public work isn’t readily translatable into a gallery setting. However, in recent years, the artist has sought to find a balance between public art and studio practice. In his latest body of work, showing at Meat Market this month, Ash channels the energy and immediacy of his large fire extinguisher murals, instead drenching large stretched canvases in layer upon layer of vivid colour, applied using an industrial airless sprayer.

This is physical, time sensitive work. After applying base layers of gesso and paint, Ash runs water through his sprayer, applying this to the linen to allow the following layers of paint a greater fluidity of movement. ‘I also use an effect of fading out the gravity flow of paint at the base of the stretcher with the high pressure application of water, as I feel this gives the paintings a unique floating, dreamlike state’ the artist explains.

Key to Ash’s practice is an intuitive relationship with colour. In the studio, the artist finds himself immersed, literally, in his chosen palette each day. He’ll emerge at certain times, covered head to toe in paint, a little foggy from the fumes (despite the use of a gas mask and fume extractors). This is an intense, all-consuming environment.

Interestingly, in the days after our photo shoot, much of the lighter pink tones in these paintings were flooded with intense, dark magenta pigment. ‘I really wanted the works to be more visceral and less dreamy at that point.’ Ash says.

‘We have this incredible varied response to colour and that is the biggest hurdle for me – to know when to add or subtract according to my feelings on that day, which are always different by a matter of degree from the preceding or following days.’

Gravity System Response brings together 20 vast paintings, the biggest of which are three-and-a-half-metres tall and two-metres wide. ‘The audience can take whatever they feel from the varied, yet interconnected works’ Ash muses. ‘I just hope to provide an immersive environment that engages the audience through an awareness of time and space.’

Ash will soon embark on a month-long project in collaboration with an innovative local architecture studio. His work will also be exhibited at Sydney Contemporary in September, with his representative gallery, Blackartprojects.

Gravity System Response‘ by Ash Keating
Opening this Thursday 6th April, 7pm to 9pm
Show runs 7th to 13th of April
Meat Market, 5 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

Artist Ella Dunn is inspired by personal experiences and small everyday interactions.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

This Week

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

Artist Ella Dunn is inspired by personal experiences and small everyday interactions.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net