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A Feast for the Eyes

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Mitchell Fine Art

86 Arthur St

Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006


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Australians have an obsession with seafood. A predominantly coastal population, seafood is engrained in our way of life. Our special occasions marked with consuming copious amounts of moreish creatures from the deep blue.

Artists Deirdre Bean and Mirra Whale explore this concept from different perspectives in their latest exhibition ‘A Feast for the Eyes’, opening at Mitchell Fine Art on Friday 4th August.

For Internationally recognised botanical and natural history artist Deirdre Bean these creatures represent nostalgic connections to her past;

Since my childhood I have been inspired by the natural world. Our family home was surrounded by pristine bush. The nearby beach and river was an idyllic playground. My father was an expert fisherman, and it seemed we had an endless supply of food from the sea. My recent paintings are inspired by those times. These elements give reference to moments shared at the family table and reinforce the idea of fish as food.” D. Bean 2017.

Contrastingly, for Sydney based painter, drawer and print maker Mirra Whale these creatures connect to the way we consume and celebrate the overlooked beauty in the everyday;

My paintings are drawn from a deep curiosity I have with life, with death, mortality and humanity. They are about everyday learnt rituals that govern the way we live, the celebrated and the banal. The fish paintings are about being at the top of the food chain, the industry, indulgence and the way we live both economically and environmentally. They are small considered intimate studies of fish from the markets. The allure of silvery hues, light and shadow. The paintings are about our ability to consume whilst often removing association. They are about finding a beauty and gratitude in the smallest gestures.” M. Whale 2017.

Both Whale and Bean explore the tradition of still life in this exhibition. Known for her intricate botanical illustrations, Deirdre Bean draws from life, painstakingly measuring and colour matching every component of her subject. However for these works Bean has included eating utensils and plates, separating these works slightly from scientific illustrations to still life studies.

Whale is particularly drawn to the tradition of still life and portraiture. She explores common, everyday objects challenges our understanding of objects often excluded from traditional still life compositions.

The exhibition ‘A Feast for the Eyes’ will show from 2nd until 26th August. Mirra Whale and Deirdre Bean will be attending the opening night on Friday 4th August and will also be presenting an Artist Talk in the gallery on Saturday 5th August.

To view the exhibition online visit www.mitchellfineartgallery.com.

For media enquiries email gallery@mitchellfineartgallery.com or phone (07) 3254 2297.

Further Information on the Artists

Deirdre Bean

Internationally recognised botanical and natural history artist Deirdre Bean

Bean has received critical acclaim in some of the world’s most prestigious botanical and natural history institutions and art prizes.

Born and now based in Newcastle, Deirdre Bean followed on from a Bachelor Degree of Fine Art and Visual Culture to complete a Ph.D. in Natural History Illustration in 2016.

Bean has received a gold medal in 2006, and two gilt medals in 2012 and 2015 from the Royal Horticultural Society in London. She has twice been highly commended in the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Horticultural Society of New Yorks International Juried Botanical Art Exhibition, New York. She has had numerous exhibitions in regional galleries and institutions in Australia and around the world including;

The Royal Horticultural Society, London

S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

Canberra, Bathurst and Maitland Regional Galleries

Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

Pataka Art Museum, Wellington, New Zealand

Newcastle City Library

Mirra Whale

Sydney based painter, drawer and print maker Mirra Whale has accumulated numerous accolades and awards over the last 5 years. Whale has been a finalist three times consecutively in one of the worlds prestigious portrait prizes, The Archibald Prize. She has also been selected for the Portia Geach Memorial Award (2012, 2013 and 2014) and the 2013 Salon des Refusés.

Whale was born and raised in Sydney. She has studied at both the National Art School and the International School of Graphics in Venice, Italy. Her works are held in numerous public and private collections.

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Mitchell Fine Art

86 Arthur St

Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006


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