In a show which promises epic battles, fantasies come to life, animal overlords and a nod to nature, 19Karen’s May exhibition brings together four disparate artists to amuse and inspire.
“I thought they were all different enough not to compete with each other, and to provide something for everyone to look at”, explains Gallery Director Terri Lew of her curation.
The “they” in question, are Ryuzso Kojima from Japan, Peter-John de Villiers of Norway and Gold Coast artists Go Suga and Sacha Beverley.
Go Suga and Sacha Beverley both like to tell stories through their art. Like the Marvel comics or stories from ancient mythology, Go Suga’s art exists on the edge of current, contemporary pop art and the mystical depth of imagination, cultural exploration and the natural and unnatural world. But even though the roots for his art are still the same, a lot has changed in his art practice that has lead to this exhibition.
“The style of my work has changed this time,” he says.
“My old work used to have a lot of symmetric shapes, circles and straight lines that I used to represent the human civilisation and technology. I wanted to really get away from that and get to something less artificial, more organic, more freehand.
“I have dropped the thick outlines off my illustrations. I am using brighter colours and I have switched to acrylic paint so this makes it the first time I have started using brushes as well. It was a learning curve for me but it has turned out really well.”
Go’s current exhibition Time Traveller tells the story of Lord Hades covering the planet with darkness, and a time traveller being sent back to prevent it. The hanging follows the story and reveals the next chapter as effortlessly as a book does.
“I always make up these stories and what I have made this time, is the story of Hades, the dark forces and a time traveller who tries to save the world,” Go explains.
“In the first piece you will see a time traveller going back in time and the storyline follows from there.”
But as much as these paintings tell a fictional story, there are hints of contemporary times and the artist himself. You will see a female Hades and a little baby; the ruthless god has taken a female form and the baby is an indication of a much-awaited occasion in the artist’s personal life.
Sacha’s work tell the story of the inner longings that at times overcome us all. Her exhibition, entitled Make A Wish, includes a slim central piece depicting a genie and a lamp. The many flanking pieces each represent a different wish.
On the day we speak with her, I Wish For Love, and I Wish For Wealth and Security are displayed. Her style is abstract, her palette mostly muted; greys and mustards intermingling with splashes of pink from pale to hot. The eye slides and then focuses.
“This isn’t my usual palette actually,” she explains.
“I’ve decided to experiment for this exhibition. I usually use brighter tones, turquoise and red, fluorescent colours.”
I Wish for Love is a wistful, emotional piece, with more distortion and chaos than I Wish for Wealth and Security, which is more ordered and defined, a nod one feels to society’s systems and infrastructures.
Sacha seems happy to let her work speak for her, uncomfortable under the glare of the camera and the pressure of being interviewed. She discusses the rest of her exhibition which includes wishes for Freedom, Peace and Unity, Joy and Acceptance, all of which she completed in under five months.
As for her own wishes?
“To be a full time artist. That’s the dream, really.”
The May Exhibition at 19Karen opens on 6 May and runs until 18 June. Opening night will have live music from 6.00pm – 8.00pm and a chance to speak with the artists. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org