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Inlet/Outlet By Julian Meagher

Art

A residency on the Sapphire Coast, new fatherhood and the flow of the tides have inspired the latest body of work from TDF favourite, Julian Meagher.

We chat with the Sydney-based artist about living at a dreamy Inlet, and the resulting exhibition ‘Inlet/Oulet’ opening at the Olsen Gallery in Woollahra next Wednesday March 21st.

15th March, 2018

Julian Meagher with (left to right) Inlet #19, Inlet #8 and Inlet #10. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Artist Julian Meagher’s relocation to an isolated inlet has inspired his latest exhibition. ‘I am not ready to leave! I feel like there are some answers to some bigger questions still in there.’ Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Julian aimed to keep the fluid vibrancy of quick watercolour sketches, in his large oil paintings. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

The Sydney based artist originally trained as a doctor, and 12 years ago left the profession to pursue a professional career as a visual artist. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

(From left to right): Inlet #11, Inlet #15, Inlet #7, (all) 2018, oil on linen, 152 x 122cm. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

His latest artworks are informed by an understanding of time as cyclical, which Julian sees as often forgotten in busy city environments. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

The 20 paintings (and one video work) were produced in response to a one-month residency on the Sapphire Coast. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Sydney based artist Julian Meagher opens his solo exhibition at Olsen Gallery on March 21st. Photo – courtesy of Julian Meagher and Olsen Gallery. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Detail of Inlet #17, 2018, oil on linen, 152 x 122cm. Photo – courtesy of Julian Meagher and Olsen Gallery. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Inlet/Outlet is Julian’s first foray into landscape painting. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 15th March 2018

‘Fatherhood means things are a lot less about me, and there is a profound beauty to that.’ – Julian Meagher.

Inlet/Outlet is the first landscape series from Sydney painter Julian Meagher, which he explains is ‘a subject that I have struggled with in the past.’ The striking body of work was inspired by a residency on the Sapphire Coast, facilitated by the  Bega National Gallery and Museums and Galleries Australia. Julian, and his heavily pregnant wife Beejal, lived in a historic Roy Grounds designed house on an inlet within the national park. In this environment, their days were informed by the rhythm of water and of feeling the ‘strong force of timeless cycles’ around them.

Those blue sapphire beaches feature prominently in Inlet/Outlet, which depicts luminous waterways and a sense of place that is flowing and vibrant. The works are a departure from Julian’s more restrained and intimate  interior portraits. These new paintings are somehow grander, with expressive, sweeping brushstrokes – though fans of his work (like us!) will find familiarity in the painterly, ‘watercolour-esque’ style. Julian’s generous technique communicates the power of ocean currents, and he describes applying his oil paints in a way that retains ‘the energy of quick watercolour sketches.’

This work has given Julian a new sense of freedom, allowing a process that negotiated both risk and failure. He says he’s ‘a lot better at accepting this now, and almost welcomes it, in a way.’ Fatherhood has also made an impact. ‘Things are a lot less about me, and there is a profound beauty to that’, tells Julian. ‘I think that daily reminder is helping me in the studio in all kinds of ways.’

Embracing risk has expanded Julian’s practice in more ways than one – he’s also created a motion painting video work as part of the new exhibition. This piece aims to bring the Sapphire Coast inlet into the gallery, through meditative sounds of the locally Bell Miner birds, and the repetitive movement of rolling waves. Inlet/Outlet offers an opportunity to experience the vibrant colours of country and the pace of the Sapphire Coast – plus an insight into the inlet where Julian and his young family have opted to remain!

Inlet/Outlet by Julian Meagher
21st March – 15th April
Olsen Gallery
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra, New South Wales

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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