In 2016, Tusk Gallery will be taking a step behind the scenes and entering the studios of some of the 90 artists that we currently represent. This insight is a great way to learn more of what goes on behind the processes as well as the thought and inspiration that drives some of Australia’s current practicing artists. To start the year off, Miertje Skidmore has been kind enough to answer a few of our questions. We hope you enjoy!
By gazing at Miertje Skidmore’s large scale glossed canvases, components that are clear to us are her relationship to the Australian landscape which she translates to her audience in an abstract and colour-charged language. Yet, what remains concealed are certain aspects of her process which I was fortunate enough to ask Miertje about as she reflects on her inspiration, processes and practice – without giving all her secrets away of course. Adelaide artist Miertje Skidmore has been professionally painting for the last decade, but her involvement within Australia’s arts community ventures back 35 years. She has spent this time developing her technique and working in every painting and drawing medium possible having exhibited in over 40 solo and group shows across Australia since the early 1990’s and in recent years has been international collected in a number of countries including London, New York, Singapore and Stockholm.
Creativity has forever been an imperative part of Miertje’s life and she has never considered herself anything but a creative contributor to the community around her. Having worn many hats over the years including owning 15 retail clothing stores, designing her own clothing label and owning boutiques in North Adelaide and Melbourne, it was also in 1990 that Miertje purchased a large scale old town hall in South Australia and opened an Art Gallery/Restaurant.
Now having closed her retail business, Miertje Skidmore is now painting full time and takes her audiences to altitudes above earth. Her abstract patterns are a reflection of a broader view of the planet as Miertje describes, “the undeniable power, majesty and diversity of the oceans, lands and the never ending organic life never ceases to amaze me”.
Endless Boundaries, 180 x 120cm, mixed media on canvas
The medium and technique she uses is a result of over three decades of trial and error for Miertje. It has always been an endless pursuit of something new and fresh and it is this developmental progression that she believes to be a fundamental importance for any artist.
When stopping to admire Miertje’s work, one commonly asked question audiences have is how her pieces are produced. How does she create the detailed pattern? What paint does she use? What is her process? The reason for keeping certain aspects of her process hidden is the belief that in order for artists to learn and progress, experimentation should lead the way rather than others reusing similar methods to those before them.
Harmless Solutions, 180 x 120cm, mixed media on canvas
This veiled element of her practice only complements the intrigue and fascination which her works portray. What remains paramount is the “attempt to remind people to occasionally simply stop, look, and appreciate the incredible planet we have the privilege of inhabiting and share” Miertje explains.
Presently working on international shows in New York, London, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpa and Singapore, it looking to be an enormous year for the Skidmore studio and we look forward to being taken to even greater heights in 2016. You can see Miertje’s works in both our South Yarra and Camberwell galleries.