fortyfivedownstairs’ Artist in Residence 2014
4 February – 27 May 2014
Artist Christopher Beaumont is the second artist to take up residence in the studio which is attached to fortyfivedownstairs’ large gallery space.
It’s particularly appropriate to Christopher’s work that the studio was formerly used as a kitchen space for gallery functions, as he has always been fascinated by still life, and in particular the humble everyday aspects of our daily life and bread – in his hands the potato, the pumpkin, the eggplant and onion become precious, their apparently simplicity transformed into objects of beauty.
A committee that included Julian Burnside, Chair of fortyfivedownstairs, and artists Jon Cattapan and Kate Dawe, decided that Christopher, with his dedicated and determined art practice, was an ideal candidate for the studio residency, which also involves talking to some of the numerous senior student groups that visit the gallery each year. While his meticulous work depicts instantly recognizable objects in a completely naturalistic manner, there is significant study and theory underpinning the deceptively simple work.
Beaumont began his studies in Melbourne University Faculty of Medicine, but after a few years he became fascinated by the exquisite still life paintings of 17th century Spanish artists, and began studying painting and sculpture, first at Prahran CAE and then Victorian College of the Arts.
Survival for artists is no easy matter these days, but Christopher has never wavered in his determination to continue working as a full time painter. He’s uncompromising, but pragmatic, and the artist who won the people’s choice award at the 2005 Arthur Guy Memorial Prize at the Bendigo Art Gallery is delighted to have a significant work forming part of the decoration at the celebrated South Melbourne Market stall specializing in potatoes. Students will have a lot to learn from Christopher about steadfastness, dedication and the beauty in the most ordinary objects.
The residency culminates in a two week exhibition, from 27 May 2014. It will be almost ten years since Christopher Beaumont last exhibited at fortyfivedownstairs!
Open Studio Day, 10 May 2014
Open Studio Day was a rare opportunity for the public to visit our artist in resident, Christopher Beaumont, in his studio. Situated in a space at the back of our large gallery, Christopher had been painting here since 4 February, working towards his exhibition Still Life Paintings & Commissions running from 27 May until 7 June 2014.
Christopher was available on the day to discuss his art practice and knowledge; and to engage and interact with the public.
Images: Studio image in The George Tower St Kilda, courtesy of Serge Thoman; Studio open day courtesy of fortyfivedownstairs; Vanitas still life with lavendar, 2007, oil on linen, 510 x 610mm; Still Life with Lemons, 2005, oil on linen, 410 x 510mm; Still Life with Pumpkin, Potatoes, Onions, Carrot, Garlic & Shallots, 2012, oil on linen, 410 x 510mm.