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Published February 9th 2015
Beautiful 'taylor' made artworks and art classes
A tin shed in the suburban streets of Newmarket may seem like an unlikely place for a hotbed of artistic creativity, but the studio and gallery space of New Zealand-born artist Lisa Taylor King is breathing beautiful and colourful life into the Newmarket landscape and the homes and offices of those lucky enough to own one of Taylor King's original works.
The gallery is what you first encounter as you enter this post industrial space. It's large and open, but what could have been cold and stark is softened by a myriad of homey design touches added by Lisa. Her assured eye for design has created many lovely vignettes throughout the space; a whimsical mish mash of objects and styles. Dark, timber shelving loaded with cute curios sits in front of corrugated walls. White walls are juxtaposed with the metal and timber exposed roof framework, a comfy leather sofa is laden with old framed photos and a timber shelf suspended by industrial chains is offset by flowers and plants. Umbrellas, a tailor's dummy, a collection of old crockery and books are all artfully presented. Lisa can move and rearrange the items at whim to create new impressions.
But it's Lisa's large and luminous canvases that are the star of the gallery. Her abstract landscapes, seascapes and natural themes hang on the white walls and sit propped against furniture. They are at once bright and ethereal; splashes of vivid colour mixed with misty, pastel tones, often with touches of gold leaf. They are shimmering and atmospheric in a style reminiscent of the later light-filled impressionistic works of J M W Turner. And they are beautiful. In fact, I have a hot tip for the producers and contestants of TV's The Block. Lisa's large scale pieces would be the perfect linking artworks to create a theme for one of their high-end sophisticated apartments.
Lisa studied fine arts and graphic design in her native New Zealand and last year made the move to Brisbane. She specialises in large format works but does produce some smaller scale paintings. She explained that her technique is to paint directly onto raw canvases, which are then stretched onto frames, the larger ones usually made by Lisa's husband. She uses good quality acrylic paints from the USA and also works with pencil, ink, enamel and oil glazes to fashion her unique works. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and appear in many collections.
There's something energetic, immediate and sometimes almost chaotic about the workspaces of creative people, and Lisa's studio at the rear of the shed is no exception, providing an intimate glimpse into her creative processes. It's a colourful jumble of paint spatters, tubes of paint, scrawled notes, paintbrushes, pictures, chairs, sketches and easels and it looks homey and comfortable like any well-loved and well-used personal space.
When we visited, the gallery was also displaying some interesting lighting and furniture creations by a local artist. These designs were handcrafted from salvaged and repurposed materials such as large brass artillery shells, recycled fluorescent tubes, a helicopter engine casing and an anchor.
Lisa conducts kids art classes The Little Artist and adult art workshops with an emphasis on fun and practical teaching. She also undertakes commissions, working with your decor and size specifications to produce something stunning that will take pride of place in your home.
Lisa has just signed up to have her gallery as one of the interesting performance spaces for this year's Anywhere Festival. Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo's farce, The Virtuous Burglar, will be brought to life in these industrial but artistic surrounds by director, Heidi Manchι, and a cast of seven. You can enjoy the show, a bar and Taylor-King's work for sale in the foyer pre and post show. You can find out all about the show and purchase tickets ($20 to $25) online here. Performances run between Thursday 14th and Sunday 17th May and from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th May 2015.
To find out more about Lisa you can visit her website or Facebook page. But you really need to visit the Taylor King Gallery to get a full sense of Lisa and her works. Opening hours are: Friday 11.30am 3pm, Saturday 10am 4pm, Sunday 10am 4pm and other times by appointment.
*All images in this article were either taken by the writer or supplied by Lisa Taylor King*