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Julian Meagher - There is Hope to the Last Flower

The Design Files 21 February 2017

Elle Murrell

Today we highlight the latest exhibition by Sydney artist Julian Meagher, which opens tomorrow at Olsen Gallery.

‘There is Hope to the Last Flower' confronts poignant issues, from the global to the personal, through unique compositions and unexpected, yet somehow beautiful symbols. Though they are depicted in a cool, muted palette, Julian's artworks are underpinned with luminous optimism.

The tipping point between hope and darkness is at the crux of Julian Meagher's new show, ‘There is Hope to the Last Flower'. While this exhibition title (a quote from a documentary) singles out the plight of bees, the body of work in fact spans broad themes, from addiction, to Sydney's lock-out laws, Australian identity, the environment, love, and Julian's recent marriage.

‘Faced with so many sad and distressing events in our world, and my own sense of hopelessness at times, I wanted to paint a show about optimism,' explains Julian, whose disarmingly realistic self portraits and still lifes make for a reflective and personal exhibition.

In this latest series, reflections and refractions feature prominently. ‘I like this idea of the broken surface, where objects oscillate from light to dark, from solid to transparent and from being heavy to weightless,' explains the artist.

Julian has been deeply influenced by a recent visit to the David Hockney exhibition in Melbourne, and is hoping to emulate Hockney's passion for mark making, perspective and willingness to experiment in his own practice moving forward. Later this year Julian will undertake a residency with Bega Regional Gallery, during which time he is looking forward to painting a landscape series. But there will also be more captivating portraits too.

In notable portrayals from ‘There is Hope to the Last Flower,' Julian and his wife, Beejal, are each depicted in a silver emergency blankets. He dedicates this exhibition to her and is ecstatically awaiting the birth of their first child. ‘Creatives aren't the easiest of partners, support from our loved ones is a critical factor to staying on course,' Julian admits. ‘I possess a lot more hope about things now than I used to!'

There is Hope to the Last Flower by Julian Meagher
February 22 to March 12
Olsen Gallery
63 Jersey Road, Woollahra
Sydney, NSW

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