‘DOWN TO THE WATER’ – PAUL MAHER
27th May – 14th June 2020
EXHIBITION LAUNCH ONLINE
Wednesday 27th May, 6pm onwards
Exhibition Video Walkthrough: Watch on IGTV
Saint Cloche Founder, Kitty Clark, reveals a new body of work from Australian painter, Paul Maher, and this will be his second solo show at the gallery.
In Down to the Water, Paul builds on his previous exhibition at Saint Cloche in February 2019, Harbour’s Edge, and continues his exploration of coastal walks of Sydney. Perfect timing, with so many of us reconnecting with nature right now and spending time exercising outdoors during physical distancing. Paul’s expeditions throughout Sydney Harbour’s estuaries, inlets and bays eternally revitalise his artist’s eye.
“Discovering new landscapes has become an extremely important part of my work.” – Paul Maher
As a habitual sketcher, the core of Paul’s artistic practise centres on observing the built and natural environment and in this instance, the urban coastal landscape. The process toward the finished painting always begins with a spur-of-the- moment ‘rough’ on paper.
My paintings draw on a textured experience of nature – its moods and elemental sensations. The expressive sweeps of energy also chart my movements within the landscape, either on foot or by ferry.
In this exhibition, I have focused on the deep inlet of Mosman Bay and the observational viewpoints found on its steep, vegetated ridge lines. I also branched further north to navigate the open body of Pittwater, with its sheltered beaches and idiosyncratic boat ramps and boat sheds.
At times these works deliberately dance between abstraction and representation. Compositions are derived from on- site sketches that are distilled into geometric forms and vegetation into delicately linear patterns. The paint is applied with speed and once put down, allowed to breath and crystallised on the surface.
I enjoy painting landscapes that inspire me, and I often find the right combination of built form and the natural environment around the Harbour. The spontaneous sketches I bring back to the studio contain something of the spirit of the place.
About Paul Maher
Newcastle-based visual artist, Paul Maher has been making and exhibiting art for 30 years in Australia and overseas. Raised in the Hunter Valley, Paul trained in Visual Arts at the University of Newcastle, completing postgraduate studies in 1985. At a time of rigorous studio teaching and with the benefit of a dynamic group of artist-peers, Paul developed a strong drawing practice that stayed with him. He has exhibited in the Hunter since 1988, punctuated by two exhibitions in Paris in 1999 and University of Newcastle Gallery 2017. Following the 1989 earthquake Paul’s work was included in Shifting Grounds at the Art Gallery of NSW. Represented in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection, his mosaics form part of the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Sculpture Garden and feature on Beaumont Street, Hamilton.