As a graphic designer I have a love for typography and I’m fascinated with the process of creating type. Typographers can have creativity but the successful ones also need the technical knowledge and finesse to make it work. Sydney illustrator and artist Gemma O’Brien has become famous for her font-based artworks and large-scale picturesque murals. She also uses the pseudonym Mrs Eaves for her social media and has had many commercial successes. Respected and recognised for her work, she has presented many talks on typography at design seminars worldwide. Her works predominantly mix lettering with illustrative elements to create visual illusions between the written word and intricate line patterns.
This weekend she had created two large hand-painted installations on the gallery walls at China Heights for her show Presence. The word JOY is almost illegible even though the letters are bold but it is delicately intertwined with flowing lines and botanical references. The other wall is blank except for black script with the phrase Desire Seeks Mystery as a simple statement. These may seem conceptual but the message reflects her personal view of feeling good in an age of global uncertainty. Only on show for three days before being painted over forever, the limited time gives the pieces an energy and performance art effect due to their temporary nature.
I know it’s like wishing time away but I think we all agree that 2016 has been a very interesting year that has been punctuated by loss and turmoil. Now that the end of the year is counting down, I’m looking forward to a new year of hope and beauty. I’m sharing some moments from my Instagram as a reminder of brighter times and moving into the future. Wishing you all a peaceful, fun holiday break and may 2017 shine!
Melbourne is renowned for street art but Sydney is evolving and the artform is gaining momentum here too. I love making discoveries when I walk down an alleyway or drive through a side street (yes I am that person who stops to take a photo!).
Respected graffiti artist Phibs painted the facade of this warehouse in Stanmore. He is one of the city’s most prolific and established graffiti and street artists, also making a name for himself within the fine arts world. His strong, distinctive style suits this packaging service’s premises which is run by St Vincent de Paul Society and provides employment for people with a disability. The biggest surprise was in Potts Point with this striking black and white drawing of a woman in a room. The tiling angled to a vanishing point is perfect since it’s in an alley so the perspective works with the actual street location. Then there’s the charm of this abandoned corner shop in Botany which has had a simple revamp with a childlike painting of a tree landscape. I’m unsure whether this was done by the owners or locals, but it puts a smile on your face and cheers up an otherwise bland wall.
Large scale murals are commanding but sometimes it’s the mystery of the artist and the concept of the piece which is just as intriguing. A simple quote by Henri Matisse sums it up “creativity takes courage”.
It’s obvious that Bondi Beach has a natural landscape of beauty but it’s also the street art that adds another dimension visually. Through the back streets and most famously on the promenade wall, there are legal sites for artists to share their creations. Personally I appreciate graffiti and murals but I have to be honest that I don’t see the point of a haphazard and nondescript tag. There should be more of these locations to encourage creators to develop their art and display their talents. It’s also interesting to watch and listen as people from all walks of life stop to take photos and discuss the pieces of art. The rotation of the murals gives more artists an outlet for their work and keeps the area inspiring and vibrant.