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Get Lost In Christopher Jewitt’s Mesmerising ‘Scribbles’

Studio Visit

Anyone who grew up in the 90s will be familiar with ‘magic eye’ pictures. You know, those trippy optical illusions that you held to your nose, then pulled away, and tried to find the hidden picture through a blurry, half cross-eyed gaze?

There are no hidden pictures in the work of Melbourne based multi-disciplinary artist Christopher Jewitt – but the dancing patterns that appear and disappear have a similar intangible quality. We chat with the artist about his work, and the joys of pursuing a creative career.

5th August, 2019

Welcome to the vibrant studio of Christopher Jewitt. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The artist at work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The mark maker uses a variety of mediums. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The layered and dancing patterns in Christopher’s work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Vibrant art meets vibrant jacket! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

His work sits somewhere between figurative and abstract. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Childhood scribbles and notebooks continue to inform his work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Palette details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Painting on a large scale! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Miriam McGarry
Monday 5th August 2019

‘I feel that an autonomy of expression is the most exciting thing about being an artist. And having the potential to evoke, provoke, lead, and uplift with one’s work.’ – Christopher Jewitt.

Artist Christopher Jewitt describes himself as an erratic kid, who ‘never kept still for very long.’ In his 20’s, Christopher fell in love with mark making, and eventually picked up a paintbrush and taught himself to paint. His work captures that vital childhood energy, through an aesthetic of ‘notebook doodles and simple scribbles’ that is informed by years of studying a masters of abstraction and figurative painting.

Christopher began to ‘professionalise’ his practice a decade ago, which he moved into his first studio space and sought the assistance of galleries. Now based in warehouse studio in Abbotsford, the artist enthuses ‘what I love most is the space above me which is a 10m high ceiling – space is luxury!’

The artist’s latest body of work combines what Christopher describes as ‘voltaic saturations of colour that are both gawky and voluptuous.’ There is almost a ‘magic-eye’ quality in this work, where patterns jump out to the viewer, only to swim out of reach in the blink of an eye. Layers of zig zags, swirls and lines of dots mingle together into an abstracted scene. The artist highlights that while aesthetically the works appear as abstract, they are ‘informed by narratives concerning people and their relationships to one another.’

The multidisciplinary artist is looking forward to translating his mark making into explorations with ceramics, and undertaking upcoming overseas residencies. Before he jets off, you can catch his work at the inaugural exhibition at Big Boom gallery in Geelong, opening this Thursday 8th August.

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

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