Stuart CussonsStuart Cussons was born near Melbourne in 1953 and found the “moody presence” of Port Phillip Bay a constant source of emotional and artistic challenge. Many hours of studying, drawing and painting the sea served to reinforce a determination to follow an art-making life, which continues today after over forty years.
Stuart had a formal and traditional training which has included printmaking and sculpture, but in his own words, he still “rehearses the world through drawing, incessantly”.
Stuart has travelled extensively throughout Australia, but the “vibrancy and energy” of the Northern Rivers of NSW has always drawn him back.
“The riotous abundance I experience here has, paradoxically, given to my recent work a stronger emphasis upon which is subtle, and essential.”
Stuart’s work is held in private collections throughout Australia.
Stuart is one of the gallery's major artists, with a large body of work. His catalogue has been divided over two pages into "Works on Paper" and "Other Works", reached by the links below. The latter includes sculpture and works comprised of panels.
Stuart Cussons 1 to 30 March, 2014
Stuart Cussons’ work increasingly is venturing into the world of 3D. Subtle, yet purposeful extensions into this third axis underscore the primary intent of his new work. The central idea here is the diffusion of the core concepts of “reality” and “artifice” - further blurring distinctions made/formed/considered between what is realty and what is construction.
Is the art a representation of some reality, or, is it in and of itself its own reality, with no external reference?
Stuart reads a lot and is often inspired by what he reads, so there are always external influences that seep into his creative process. Many of the works in this exhibition were inspired by recent readings about the history of map-making. Whatever the muse, Stuart's work has a life of its own beyond the concept of its beginnings. As always, the work is not only visually breathtaking - with its own sense of extrinsic calm and inner tension - but asks more questions rather than providing answers.
WABI - The Quality of Voluntary Poverty
Stuart Cussons 12 April to 12 May, 2013
"Wabi is an aesthetic and moral principal (13th century Japan), which advocates a life of quietness, simplicity, austerity and a withdrawal from worldliness. It seeks, in valuing a simple and austere beauty, to find the transcendence which can come from non-intellectual engagement. Wabi advocates the belief that excess is a burden that actually diminishes rather than enriching. By nurturing and expressing all that is authentic, simple, economic and transient, Wabi provides an absence of clutter which gives freedom to think, to experience, and hopefully to understand.
The concept of Wabi has always underpinned my work, and from it has derived it's meaning - or more correctly it's lack of meaning. I can't look at any one of my paintings and say what it means, or even what a series of them may mean. In a sense they mean nothing because they are not about any single describable thing. Their content is more a question of what I am giving and you are receiving when in front of my work. Making and viewing paintings are complex activities and are totally dependent upon context. Context consists of what the artist and the viewer give to the work from their own experiences - from a multitude of references, and what they take away is dependent on the same multi-layered referential history.
I don't believe art should exist to solve problems or answer questions. It presents itself - or more exactly, is presented and experienced. An interested viewer may walk away carrying some part of this mysterious combination of thought, visual expression, and emotional response. Above all it is about laying oneself open to response. These works are not about meaning - they attempt to carry meaning by way of the viewer's response." Stuart Cussons, 2013
Stuart has been working on this body of work for the past few months and has been in the planning since his last solo exhibition here in July, 2012. His exhibition is a must-see for lovers of beautifully resolved, nuanced and restrained simplicity in contemporary art.