To begin the 2019 First Coat Studios program we celebrated the opening of a 12 artist group show ‘Post Premises’ and solo exhibition, ‘Distance’ by Northern Rivers based artist, Mitchell Schultz. Seeing our spaces filled with the First Coat Studios community and many new faces after the break was a wonderful start to the year!
‘Post Premises’ was a group exhibition celebrating 12 Australian artists and their collective responses to physical signs removed from their original context. Curated by Laurie Oxenford & Grace Dewar, ‘Post Premises’ discusses human interactions with everyday environments.
Using repurposed exterior signage from Toowoomba’s iconic Metropole Hotel, First Coat Studios’ artists have considered these weathered objects, and their existing purpose, palette, text and surfaces, as a point of departure for new work.
Through diverse contemporary practices in sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics and video art, ‘Post Premises’ invites a dialogue between the object and the artist. Each sign has been altered or responded to, allowing for a slippage of ideas and a sense of play between the signifier (the physical sign) and the signified (the sign’s meaning). Through the filter of their studio processes, each contributor explored their idea of the culture, community and history associated with this iconic establishment. This consideration lead to a dynamic production of sensory and visual outcomes leaning into personal and imagined experiences in regional pub settings.
Exhibiting artists included Bronte Naylor, Catherine Parker, David Usher, Emily Young, Grace Dewar, Ian McCallum, Jade Courtney, Kirsty Lee, Laurie Oxenford, Linsey Walker, London Heir and Peta Berghofer.
In the Project Space, Northern Rivers based artist, Mitchell Schultz explored conceptual, expressive translations of the world and situations around him, Drawing inspiration from place, person or object and working across a variety of mediums; Mitchell's diverse practice is concerned with the creation of an image through immediacy, research and observation.
'I relish in thinking about distance - whether it is measured or conceptual, undertaken or planned. These pieces of work are my journey into extrapolating why I am intrigued by it.
My paintings are the result of research into the exploration by others; my photographs are moments where I have discovered 'distance' during my own exploration.' - Mitchell Schultz
Using the agricultural drive of his local landscape as a point of departure, machinery has become a recurring theme of Mitchell’s recent practice. Through theoretical analysis of such objects, the artist uses colour and shape to artfully portray his fascination with the function and practicality of these everyday machines - their complex simplicity, usefulness & ability to perform a task.
Mitchell’s recent body of work ‘Distance’ juxtaposes floating phrases and disjointed imagery, creating kaleidoscope caricatures of exploratory space vessels. Using acrylic on paper; these works dance a fine line between beauty and chaos; however, it is the chaos that holds the viewer's attention and unites the compositions. There is a distinct open-ended quality to painted works as if the artist had suspended work to come back to it in the future - allowing the viewer to be immersed in the work, reaching a conclusion of their own.