Christian, a distinguished sculptor and painter with twenty years experience, has had 17 solo exhibitions—in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart. Recent sculptural works include: ’Figures in the Landscape’’ (2012), for Mount Annan Botanic Gardens; ‘The Atomic Family’ (2012), for The University of Western Sydney; ‘Furnace’ (2012), for the Corrimal Cokeworks Hundred Year Centenary; and a 50 mtr high sculptural façade designed in collaboration with architects, Fitzpatrick and Partners, for 33 Bligh Street, Sydney (2012). In 2009 The Travellers, a five-piece laser cut sculpture, won the Santos Sculpture Award. That same year Christian installed a wall sculpture, commissioned by Multiplex, at No 1 Shelley Street, Darling Harbour. Christian’s work has been hung in prestigious awards and exhibitions, such as the Archibald Prize, and he has undertaken numerous sculpture commissions.
My work responds to the deep connection human beings have with nature; a connection often lost in memory, often existing only in fragments. As cities dominate the landscape, our connection to the natural world diminishes, yet the natural elements are still held deep within our psyche. In life, we set off on a path, loop left, turn right, check around this corner, get led down one path, take off to explore another, yet as time moves on we see the patterns and connections of our existence.
Christian’s abstract landscape painting, and his bird and insect drawings, are calligraphic inspired swirls of colour that drip onto paper or canvas. They are imagination in motion. Sound caught with a pencil. The vibrant gilgee prints express the texture and tone of the original works.
Each day in my studio I am surrounded by birdlife. Constantly fascinating. The birds are cheerful companions to my meditations. They offer up whole worlds (meaning status power) in colour: the intense dark blue of the male bower-bird, the regal green-browns of the female bower, the iridescent orange and verdant green of the King Parrot, the vibrant greens of the catbirds.
Each body of work reveals Christian’s continuing interest in the transformative power of art and it’s connection to time. His art raises questions about our past, present and future, about our journey through life, and our connection to and disconnection from the natural world.
Gary Christian is of a generation of diverse Australian sculptors who emerged in the mid 1980’s. All shared a fascination with creating work that pushed the boundaries of classical art and the formal qualities of sculpture. Christian gets his impulses from the natural world and the patterns, rhythm and tone of the natural world shape the images he creates. His recent work— laser cut stainless still or aluminum, with mirrored or patina surfaces—evokes the imaginary as a site of exchange between the natural world, the cultural environment and the intellect. While earlier work brought together finely perforated steel and carved wood, to create pictorial objects, that both described the landscape, and felt like part of it.