Studio Visit

Indivi Sutton’s Ethereal Paintings Capture Emotion Through Colour

Sydney-based artist Indivi Sutton has always been enchanted by colour. She learnt about its meanings as a child, where she attended the Rudolf Steiner School while growing up in New York and then later, when she studied colour theory and painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

The 22-year-old artist’s paintings feature soft layers of pigment with a dreamy, aura-like appearance. As Indivi’s second solo show, ONE’ opens at Saint Cloche today, we spoke with her about her emerging practice.

Christina Karras

Introducing emerging artist Indivi Sutton! Photo – Petrina Tinslay

The 22-year-old works from her Sydney home studio.

‘When I moved to live in Sydney I studied at Sydney College of the Arts, and experienced incredible creative and conceptual growth during my foundation year at the Callum Park Campus, which was an inspiring environment and facility, with lecturers who embodied the creative essence of allowing freedom in learning,’ Indivi says. Photo – Petrina Tinslay

‘I paint at home in a room at the front of the house that is high up with vistas through the trees so I feel surrounded by nature,’ Indivi says. Photo – Petrina Tinslay

Her creations feature aura-like gradients of colour and form. Photo – Courtesay of Saint Cloche.

‘As I child I loved to use materials in which I could lose myself and the predictability of the outcome, like staining a piece of paper with watercolors or using pencil or crayon shavings to rub and blur.’

‘What I love most about my studio is that it belongs to Pops – my four-year-old rescue rabbit. I have a big, comfy chair where Pops and I will sit or read a book like “Esoteric Science” or poems by Milton, Verlaine or Keats are amongst some of my favorites. I am a quiet soul so I find once I get drawn into someone else’s world I find it hard to leave.’

A large wall in the studio tells stories of her paintings through colourful brushstrokes!

And the resulting exhibition explores Rudolf Steiner’s viewpoint on Goethe’s Scientific Writings on nature.

Her latest body of work, ‘ONE’ features a mix of natural and pastel tones.

Colour theory plays a large part in her practice. Photo – Petrina Tinslay

‘As each piece is conjured from a personal experience, I feel connected to each one differently as they are evocative of that time and place that lives within me,’ Indivi says of the collection.

Christina Karras
8th of June 2022

Emerging artist Indivi Sutton recalls ‘vivid’ childhood memories of feeling paint between her fingers and playing with pencil shavings to create unpredictable blurs of colour.

Growing up in New York, she was immersed in the city’s creativity and influential art world. She took classes at museums, summer programs in theatre at Shakespeare & Company and often visited the iconic MET Costume Institute Exhibitions!

These days though, she’s a student studying Art History and French at The University of Sydney since moving here in 2016. ‘Living in Sydney and Australia is now where I feel my roots. It is where my family are from and a place that has always resonated within my being as a place to belong,’ she explains.

But these varying experiences and places have all helped inspire her contemporary painting style. Indivi layers natural pigment powders on raw linen to create soft blurs of colour, experimenting as she goes to find ‘unintended outcomes’.

‘Emotions and memories are the language of my paintings,’ she adds. ‘I am naturally curious, and I keep that as precious inspiration to be free and conjure the idea of something wherever it may lead.’

Nature is another primary focus in her works. Painting from her home studio, she looks out at views of the trees with her rabbit, Pops, at her side as she works. ‘

There is a large wall in this room where the canvases are stacked. I lean the canvases on milk crates to paint, so the wall becomes a reference and record of tones I have created,’ Indivi says.

This space is currently covered in a myriad of colourful brush marks after working on her solo show ‘ONE’, which opens at Saint Cloche‘s Sydney gallery today. The body of work touches on themes of consciousness, spirituality and the natural world around us as interpreted by Rudolf Steiner – who’s philosophies also formed the basis of Indivi’s early schooling years.

Each piece is conjured from a personal experience, capturing a moment time and place forever in the stillness of her ethereal paintings.

See ‘ONE’ at Saint Cloche until June 19.

Recent Studio Visit