Sydney, Australia.- SOHO Galleries are pleased to present “Graeme Balchin: The Immaculate Perception”, on view at the gallery from February 4th through February 24th. Describing the works in the show, Graeme states: “Art is something that lives inside me, a thing that is vital to my well-being. It is a huge part of my everyday life and to be without it is something I could not comprehend. A full time artist working mainly in oils and graphite, I choose the term “Imaginative Realist” to describe my style. I am mostly self taught but have learnt and studied in a great many places, so I am influenced by many but determined to stay true to my own style.I have found that I am a solitary person, not quit fitting in with mainstream demographics and therefore I live alone and am happy to do so; I feel most artists are this way. I often feel perhaps we are just a touch crazy”.
“I constantly look for meaning in my work; a story that can hide inside the painting. I find it hard to paint just a portrait of someone. My endeavour in life is to create a masterpiece – which I hope I will never do as it would signal the end of my desire to paint. I am fascinated by the changes in young women that have come about due to their freedom and equality, which I find an endless inspiration. Most of my figure work has come from this; the dawning of their own sensuality and how they work with it. The paintings I have created for this exhibition, “Immaculate Perception” are the culmination of a decade of working with two particular models, my stepdaughter Amy and her friend Alexandra. I started painting Amy at the age of twelve. She loved to pose and I painted her for the local regional art prize each year. She introduced me to Alex, who was equally keen to pose, and they became my main stay muses each year, winning me People’s Choice in 2009. After some time I became aware that I was capturing the lives of these two young women as they grew into adults.
Theirs was such a different experience to mine when I was young and yet strangely the same. As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same. I started playing with their ‘modern-ness’ and my era, bringing the two together, painting in a style that would bring out the feeling of them and not just the image. After you have studied a subject so long in painting it, you fall in love with every little detail. I like to paint so as to give the desire to touch the painting, the feel of the skin, or the material – kind of 3D effect. I want to give the viewer the same feeling that I get when painting it; everything becomes so immaculate and the shapes are so beautiful you can not stop looking at them. Having known Amy and Alex so long I feel I can paint their personalities as well as their image. The two girls are quite different; Amy a little reserved, Alex more extrovert. I feel this shows in the paintings, not just in their images but also in the whole story of the work. Their sensuality shows in different ways. It has been a great delight to watch them obtain and recognize the power their looks have given them, and observe how they use this to get their way – how they throw it at me when they pose and then giggle at the knowledge of their suggestiveness. It is an amazing journey for them, and to be able to paint it is even more amazing. I hope the viewer can feel this also.
The only way to capture this emotion is with a high degree of realism but I am always aware of not losing a painterly effect. It lets the viewer see that the artwork has been created and crafted with emotion and thought; about how to capture the moment with narrative and symbology; how to make their temporality eternal. Most of my paintings carry a metaphor or symbolism, a story of a part of the lives of these young ladies. “Papiliophobia” – the fear of butterflies – the desire to be free, but with it comes the fear of the responsibility; the desire to leave the nest, crossed with their need for security. They want to go in search of far away castles but are hearing the warnings of danger.
To use any other style or method, for me would not convey the same message. The artworks have to be painstakingly and lovingly laboured over. Each painting has the emotion of the subject thought about and slowly brought out so that it becomes embedded into it; to paint them in the abstract would simply be a waste of the precious moment. If the work is completed too quickly the subject matter does not have the time to incubate and talk to me about where it wants to go; something that can take months. Yes, my paintings talk to me and they tell me the precise moment when they are finished too. I hope the viewer enjoys these paintings as much as I have enjoyed creating them, and that Alex and Amy will allow me to continue painting the ongoing journey of their lives. Graeme W Balchin studied at Paddington Art School 1986, Pennant Hills Life Drawing 1987, Sydney Art Station 1988, Julian Ashtons Art School Sydney (drawing, painting,etching) and studied etching at Duck Print. On completion of his trade qualifications, he established and ran his own successful signwriting business Vital Signs which operated until 2000. He produced work for Village Road Show, Hoyts, Greater Union, Home Pics Video,Top Video and many RSL, Leagues and Bowling Clubs. In 2000 he sold the business and his invention of an Aluminum flexible signface and started teaching at Newcastle Tafe in 2003. In 2004 he left to pursue a full-time career in Fine Art.
Now in it’s 16th year, SOHO galleries is a exciting commercial art gallery, established in Sydney in March 1995, that provides Australian artists with the space and exposure to place artworks in today’s contemporary corporate and domestic environments. Opened by the director, Nigel Messenger, with experience exceeding 25 years in the art industry, the gallery offers new works on a regular basis from the wealth of Australia’s new and emerging artists in the Soho Art Gallery. SOHO galleries wish to encourage all aspects of creativity in the art world through promotion, exhibition, and placement. Opportunities abound in what is now an ever-shrinking planet, through improved transport services, tourism, and more particularly communication mediums involving visual imagery transfers; the planet is now our market place. The creativity and determination of the new wave of artists, wishing to be exposed and accepted by the world market motivates us. To this end SOHO galleries will continually present exciting, dramatic and provocative works of art in Sydney and to the worldwide art market. Visit the gallery’s website at … http://www.sohogalleries.net