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MappaVitae (Life Maps) by Ian Kingsford-Smith

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Celebrated Sydney-based artist Ian Kingsford-Smith is presenting his latest solo exhibition at Sheffer Gallery for a strictly limited season this July.

Running from Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11th July, this FREE exhibition is entitled 'Mappa Vitae (Life Maps)' and showcases three stunning life-size painted sculptures.

Traditionally, portraiture artists attempt to "convey the psychological makeup of the sitter through careful observation and manipulation of their external appearances and by the setting or situation." However, with Mappa Vitae (Life Maps), Kingsford-Smith has chosen to forgo tradition by rejecting the subject's external appearance and instead embrace their rich life narrative.

This unique approach reflects Kingsford-Smith interest as a visual storyteller. "In my art practice," he says, "history, personal history, memory, family records, ambitions, fantasy, dreams, mythology and spirituality" all combine to create enigmatic narratives.

With 'MappaVitae (Life Maps)', Kingsford-Smith depicts key relationships, experiences, events, places and buildings that the sitter has viewed as most significant to him or herself. The result is a collection of "recollected memories that are distorted, amplified, fragmented, and often involve the compression of time and the juxtaposition of locations and countries".

By rendering the physical form of his sculptured figures as mere support for the narratives painted upon, Kingsford-Smith has reduced the outer self to a mask. Nevertheless, Kingsford-Smith does not suggest that he has created a more factual representation of the subject; rather he offers an image of the "subjective experience of the subject's life journey and their unstable understanding of the fragments of experiences that it is comprised of."

This exhibition follows the success of Kingsford-Smith's solo exhibitions at GAFFA, Sydney in 2014 (Pilgrimage), Global Gallery in 2013 (Dreams in Captivity), 2012 (Australian Stories) 2011 (Dingoes) 2010 (Trees on Paper) and group exhibitions in painting and printmaking in New York, Melbourne and Cairns.

Previously he has had solo and group exhibitions in Auckland, Dunedin and Palmerston North, New Zealand. His work is represented in private collections in USA, Sweden, France, Germany, Wales, England, New Zealand and Australia.

Don't miss this opportunity to see his latest series of works at the Sheffer Gallery, open Wednesday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit

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When: Opens Tuesday 7th July, 6 - 8pm and runs to Saturday 11th July
Where: Sheffer Gallery, 38 Lander Street, Darlington, Sydney
Cost: Free
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