Bernard Ollis @ NG Art :: final days

The Seine at Dusk oil pastel on paper, 2011, oil and pastel on canvas, 58 x 76cm

The Seine at Dusk oil pastel on paper, 2011, oil and pastel on canvas, 58 x 76cm

Don’t miss the latest body of work by artist Bernard Ollis at NG Art.
Bernard Ollis is a great inventor in his paintings where he deftly melds oil pastels with nuance, daily observations of the extraordinary, suppressed gravity and disjointed perspective.
His recent work is set in Paris, where the artist has spent many a day working.
Bernard recounts a Parisian man he saw wearing a beret and pushing a bicycle, talking about soccer on his way into a Picasso retrospective. ‘It just feels so civilised, like the best of all places but without the crass bits… when you watch a French quiz show you realise they put the same emphasis on questions about art and writing as they do sport and politics.’
Bernard lucidly describes Paris as his spiritual home and creative comfort. While still a student of the Royal College of Art in London, his first artist residency was to Paris in 1974.
It was here that he began using the oil pastels he now wields so expertly. ‘It was the first period in my life where I was actually making art because that’s what I wanted to do. I was living the life of an artist and I found that’s what I liked doing.’ Certainly he still does live the life of an artist. He inhabits, a mega-studio of rare proportions in Sydney’s St Peters which he and partner Wendy Sharpe purchased with great speed and foresight before the ‘For Sale’ sign was even hammered into the ground. Much like his personality, Bernard’s paintings are direct, frank and vibrant. There is no hesitation when it comes to buying property or composing an artwork.
When asked when he began painting he states ‘I never stopped!’ Instinctively compelled to create, Bernard’s paintings are full of his unabating enthusiasm and intent. He uses the shadow as a visual device to take the eye for a walk, to indicate a human presence, voyeuristic or otherwise. He’ll bend a bridge, change entire sky lines and lean lamp posts together like lovers embracing – aware he’s creating a stage for the viewer to inhabit. From creating theatre sets in London he has learnt to paint with a sense of what is beyond the edges, about to enter or exit the constructs of his paintings.
Fascinated with the psychology of what might happen, like a choose your own adventure novel, the outcome of his storytelling is informed by the viewers own imagination and experiences. They see themselves in his invented characters and become his protagonists. His paintings are like sentences half spoken, requiring the viewer to finish them.
Ultimately magician Ollis invites you into fantastical Parisian street scenes and idyllic apartments using every trick in the book.

Until 9 April

3 Little Queen Street, Chippendale

One Comment

    Error thrown

    Call to undefined function ereg()