A Feast for the Eyes

WHEN : 2nd - 26th August
WHERE : Mitchell Fine Art

A predominantly coastal population, seafood is engrained in the Australian way of life. Special occasions are marked with consuming copious amounts of moreish creatures from the deep blue. Artists Deirdre Bean and Mirra Whale explore this concept from different perspectives in their latest exhibition ‘A Feast for the Eyes’.

For Internationally recognised botanical and natural history artist Deirdre Bean these creatures represent nostalgic connections to her past;

“Since my childhood I have been inspired by the natural world… My father was an expert fisherman, and it seemed we had an endless supply of food from the sea. My recent paintings are inspired by those times. These elements give reference to moments shared at the family table and reinforce the idea of fish as food.” D Bean 2017.

Contrastingly, for Sydney based painter, drawer and print maker Mirra Whale, these creatures connect to the way we consume and celebrate the overlooked beauty in the everyday;

“My paintings are drawn from a deep curiosity I have with life, with death, mortality and humanity. They are about everyday learnt rituals that govern the way we live, the celebrated and the banal. The fish paintings are about being at the top of the food chain, the industry, indulgence and the way we live both economically and environmentally… The paintings are about our ability to consume whilst often removing association. They are about finding a beauty and gratitude in the smallest gestures.” M Whale 2017.

Both Whale and Bean explore the tradition of still life in this exhibition. Known for her intricate botanical illustrations, Deirdre Bean has shifted slightly to included eating utensils and plates, separating these works from scientific illustrations to still life studies. Whale on the other hand explores common, everyday objects challenges our understanding of objects often excluded from traditional still life compositions.

Mirra Whale and Deirdre Bean will be attending the opening night on Friday 4th August and will also be presenting an Artist Talk in the gallery on Saturday 5th August.

Image: ‘Blue Swimmer Crab’, Deirdre Bean, 28 x 36cm, watercolour on vellum