James Gleeson’s works of art are thematically apocalyptic and organically surreal. The intimacy, detail and highly resolved nature of Gleeson’s suggestive style encourages the viewer to delve into this imagined world.
Meticulous in execution, whilst still containing elements of obscurity, Gleeson’s Baudelaire: The salon of 1895: The governance of the imagination 1976, demonstrates through tonal contrast, the creation of sublime landscapes that highlight the drama of creation. Through use of both ink wash and collage, Gleeson explores his internal imaginings of dream-like reality, biblical creations and the dynamism of nature.
Maitland Grossmann High School
Perfection at Samurai Beach = The Golden Mean (detail) (2011)
Collection of works
ARTEXPRESS Artist Statement:
My artwork represents the secluded and accepting naturalist beach Samurai on the south coast of NSW. The work is open to interpretation but in making it I had in mind the feel of the natural environment and the beautiful people who are proud of who they are in their entirety, and the not so confident people who are able to accept them strolling by. I struggled at first, aware that my audience is not always able to look beyond societal perceptions of image to see the perfection of the body and its place in nature. Colour easily became my self-expression.
Discuss the importance of composition in surrealist works to create meaning and narrative.
Explore the importance of the artist’s and the audience’s personal experiences and the effect these would have on their interpretation of the works.
Analyse the function of colour within these works. Compare and contrast the use of vibrant colour in Budworth’s work with the monochromatic style of Gleeson’s work. Propose how colour is both a formal as well as a conceptual strategy used by each artist.
Download ARTEXPRESS 2012 Conversation with the Collections.