Recent work plays on themes of the day to day urban environment. Inspired by our relationship to objects Stuart has created a humorous collection of tabletop arrangements telling stories of travel and everyday life events for the viewer to connect and engage with. These fun and enjoyable compositions use toy trains, cars and figures from public and private collections drawing on his own experiences or just from the simple act of play. The enjoyment of playing with these collections is not lost on grownups which Stuart captures in his paintings as he continues to refine his distinctive approach to the traditional genre of still life.
A migrant to these shores in 2010, Stuart Smith arrived with few possessions and a keen wanderlust. His still life paintings mix traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetic through table top arrangements of toy cars, trains and figures to tell a variety of engaging stories. ‘A Model Society’ presents his most recent work and first solo exhibition.
Fascinated by the power of objects in public and private collections he sought out collectors local to the Northern Beaches where he discovered a passionate and generous collector who offered unrestricted access to his vast collection of toy cars.
‘At first I was so overwhelmed with the scale and handling the objects that I focused on individual toys and barely noticed the dialogue between them’.
Open minded and without preconception Stuart approaches each painting like a child at play, allowing the character and personality of each object to respond to another, suggesting dramatic scenes or snippets from everyday life. The results are a rediscovery of simple pleasures.
Stuart’s paintings have a charm and warmth that lies in the painter’s quiet and controlled use of both subject and medium. With subtle layering of oil paint on polished gesso surfaces he achieves strength in colour and tone enhancing the overall illusion. His intentions are not to create a photographic result but a window to another world where the painting process lets the subject shine.
Stuart Smith has been involved in number of Group Shows and Art Prizes since arriving in Australia in 2010, including: 2013; Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (the EMSLA), 2013; One to One, Hong Kong, 2013: Storytellers, Frances Keevil Gallery, 2012; Art Concerning the Environment, Scope Gallery, 2012; Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (the EMSLA), 2012; Camberwell Rotary Art Prize, 2011; National Trust Harper’s Mansion Art Prize, Sydney, 2011; Mosman Art Prize.
The exhibition ‘Stuart Smith – A Model Society’ is showing at Bird’s Gallery 236 High St Kew Melbourne VIC 3101 February 27 – March 15 2014 T: (03) 9855 0327 M: 0428 781 506 firstname.lastname@example.org
See more at http://birdsgallery.com.au/stuart-smith-model-society-29-feb-15-march/