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Andrew Dearman is an artist I have come to know mainly as a photographer whose work I discovered while surfing the net. I had the pleasure of meeting him and looking at his work at The Mill in the city. The Mill is an artist studio hub located in the heart of Adelaide.
Many creative folks gather here and share their insights with each other as they work. It is a great environment with new and different projects taking place a few steps from the gallery space itself in the front of the building.
Andrew Dearman is passionate about his work. In this exhibition of mixed media works, Andrew explores abstraction and distortion. Like a blurred photograph, these images still retain the essence of the subject, while exploring interesting tonal variations and contrast.
This work with smudged tones and sharp contrasts is reminiscent of many black and white portraits of yesteryear. This work was painted as it lay on the ground (you can still see the artist's footprints in white gesso) as the size of it would have proved difficult. I love the feel of it, the deep gazing eyes and thoughtful look.
Andrew's coloured works are somewhat playful and explore the environment of the figure as well as the subject themselves. They offer the viewer an intimate space in which one is invited to interpret the personality of the person.
Mixed Media work inspired by photograph of German expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka
Andrew Dearman's exhibition is simply titled "Art Stuff". I found it interesting especially when viewed with the knowledge of his recent work in wet plate photography a technique founded in the mid 1800s when photography was in its infancy. It was great to talk to Andrew Dearman himself (he is often lurking in his studio behind the gallery) and get an insight into this work, much of which has been sitting in storage for a few years.