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Featuring exquisite waterscapes by Brian Cheung
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to immerse yourself in the wintery and watery landscape of the northern hemisphere, on remote islands or amidst violent gales and misty seas, then this is the exhibition for you.
Brian Cheung has created a series of incredible, photo-realistic paintings from his time spent at a number of artists residences abroad, in Norway, Shetland and Finland. The Dreich Exhibition is an exploration of the commonality of water, and the differences and contrasts brought on by wind, weather and light in each location.
If you've not come across the term before, "dreich" is a Scottish word used to describe dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and generally miserable weather. Indeed fo the weather to be considered "truly dreich", according to the Urban Dictionary, at least four of these adjectives must apply. Given that for most of his eight months spent in the northern hemisphere, the weather was cold, grey, wet or snowing, for Brian, it is an entirely appropriate and very fitting title.
Brian Cheung is a Melbourne based visual artist, illustrator, graphic designer and occasional photographer. He is inspired by natural elements and landscapes and traces his love of art back to his school days, where he would pour most of his attention into his art classes. Brian went on to study interior architecture and graphic design at Monash University which led to freelance work. However, his interest in drawing, painting and illustration never waned and when an opportunity to apply for an artist residency in Iceland came up, he dropped everything and jumped at the chance. He ended up spending six months in the middle of rural Iceland in the company of some incredible artists. He says the experience had a "profound effect on not just my work but my general outlook on life, and I decided to commit to the artist life for a while longer."
And we can be thankful that he did. Brian works predominantly with analogue mediums - watercolours, gouache and ink. In recent years, this choice has been dictated by what he can easily carry around with him. Brian enjoys immersing himself within an environment, repeatedly exploring themes of place and surroundings, and building a body of work that will depict the environment and experience in minute detail.
The works shown in the Dreich Exhibition were created on recent artists residencies in the northern hemisphere, specifically on the island of Sørøya in far northern Norway, two remote lighthouses in Shetland, and a further three months on the small island of Korpo in the Finnish archipelago. For the eight months abroad, the majority of his time was spent alone with Brian curious to find out how the isolation would affect his creative process and output. As each residency was near the ocean, Brian committed himself to a series of waterscapes, exploring both the similarities and contrasts in light and weather found in each location.
The result is an impressive and comprehensive body of work, featuring sixty paintings from various locations in Shetland, Finland and the Baltic Sea, as well as ten pieces from the Great Ocean Road, which act as a link to his home in Australia. In addition, there are several larger works that Brian painted after coming home that further build on his time at the residencies.
The Dreich Exhibition will commence at Off the Kerb Gallery on 7th June and will run until 21st June 2018. It will be shown in the Front Gallery.
Opening night is on Friday 8th June from 6pm - 9pm.
While you are there, you can also check out three other exhibitions:
"The Man On Analogue Television Is Concerned About Reception" by Jonathon Harris in the Back Gallery
"What Cheer" by Emma Hampton in the Side Gallery
"Creatures, you and I" by Anna Seed in the Upstairs Gallery
Off the Kerb Gallery is located at 66B Johnston Street Collingwood. The Gallery is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 12.30pm - 6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon - 5pm.
* All images supplied by Off the Kerb Gallery