We are delighted to exhibit for the first time in Geelong the work of Arthur Bannon – aka James Price. After a decade based in New York overseeing a highly successful advertising company, Bannon has returned home to Victoria, changed his name and decided to focus on his true passion – making art.
Arthur’s works are multi layered explorations of modern life, portraits that observe the peculiarities of being alive today. The works are made with ink, pastel, charcoal, butterfly wings under glass, wrapped and burnt paper.
“Vital End – works on burnt paper about being alive”
March 13 — 29. The exhibition opening is on Friday 14th March 5:30-8pm.
All enquiries re: pricing & sales /email : firstname.lastname@example.org / Kate Jacoby 0417555101
ARTHUR BANNON / ARTIST STATEMENT
These are portraits designed to represent the frailties and confusions of life in our modern world. I’m trying to create characters that are stuck between the awareness of the miracle of their own existence, and the terrifying reality of the natural worlds absolute indifference towards them.
I use the most direct art making tools I can. I like drawing as a medium as it lacks the certainty and pretence of painting, and in that way it parallels the types of personalities I like to capture.
I predominantly use charcoal and pastel, which are little more than dust and ash. I like the fact that 100,000 years into our great civilisation the most honest way for me to reflect how I feel is little more than a well framed cave painting.
I was born in Temora NSW, a town once voted by its teenage inhabitants as ‘the worlds most boring place to live’. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out.
We moved around a bit until I spent what a lazy biographer would describe as my ‘formative years’ living in south west Victoria. After school I moved to Melbourne so I could drop out of university twice.
While at university I became pretty skilled at making things that looked good. I quickly turned that skill into a living as a Graphic Designer and Creative Director and used it to travel around the world designing for some of the worlds most interesting brands including Nike, MTV, Rayban, Sony, Adidas, The BBC and Coke. I’ve worked on 4 of the worlds continents and been fortunate enough to work in places as diverse as Prague, New Orleans, Taipei, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Dublin, Montreal and Los Angeles.
After a decade based in New York I recently returned home to Victoria, changed my name, and decided to focus on my true passion – making art that explored the peculiarities of being alive today.
The process of creating my work involved in depth consultation with the entomology department at the Museum of Victoria, as well as various conservationists and artists.
All butterflies are bred in captivity specifically for the purpose of taxidermy for museums and private collectors. They are kept frozen until they are used to ensure that no other insects begin eating them. When they are being worked on I use napthalene (the active ingredient in moth balls) to keep them safe. My studio doesn’t smell great.
All butterflies are inlayed between an aluminium sheet and glass, which is siliconed together. This keeps any po- tential invaders out. The silicone has to dry for 24-48 hours before anything else can happen.
I then burn through the paper that’s either hung or gallery wrapped over the glass. The burning is quite a delicate process as I’m constantly trying to ensure that I don’t burn too much and have to start the process again, or burn down my studio and have to explain to the fire brigade that I’m an artist that burns things. I’m not sure they’d appreciate my art.
Then I draw on the paper.
The drawings themselves are usually made up of sections of hundreds of other drawings. I spend days creating the composition before the final drawing to allow me to use the least strokes as possible. I like work that attempts to achieve the most with the least.
BUTTERFLY AS CONCEPT
Aside from their obvious beauty I love butterflies conceptually. A lot of the butterflies I use have evolved a survival mechanism where their markings make them appear like the eyes of a much larger creature. It seems like a great metaphor for the individual ego in a world of
7 billion people.
All the work is float mounted in custom built, hand stained raw Tasmanian Oak by Bingkai Framing.
Eng Khoo at Bingkai, who hand built the frames, is a Guild Commended Framer certified by the prestigious Fine Art Guild of London. This ensures the work is framed to the highest standards.