According to Australian artist Anya Brock, where there are big risks, there are rewards. This is a concept that is explored in her latest exhibition ‘Rush Rush Gone’, in which Brock throws caution to the wind and delves completely into the world of abstraction.
Known for her instantly recognisable semi-abstracted animals, florals and faces that are found adorning cityscapes and homes all over the world, ‘Rush Rush Gone’ is a wild departure from Brock’s usual practice.
Craving potent spontaneity, a visceral side effect of Brock’s new life as a mother of two, she endeavoured to shock herself, and perhaps her audience, by moving away from figuration and
into gut-driven abstraction.
“We create very safe places for our families, so I wanted to find the danger and thrill in putting myself in a state of complete discomfort with my work,” said Brock.
While a progression into abstract works is evident throughout the span of Brock’s career with experimental mark marking, layering and palettes that transport, these new works were driven by a primal desire for more liberating self-expression. They were born from painting large, loose canvasses in the backyard with her toddler son, while pregnant with her second child.
“My son was so immediate in his mark making and with so little consideration. It was very exciting and so refreshing to watch. So, I started painting with my left hand to mimic his naïveté,” added Brock.
The unbridled playfulness of this approach has informed the entire body of Brock’s work. Each piece was painted using her left hand, often with oversized brushes and on unstretched
canvasses splayed on the floor.
This raw impermanence, its lack of structure and preciousness, allowed Brock a further departure from what she had always been comfortable painting, and ultimately proved wildly
While in many cases no source material was used, Brock also drew on her background in fashion to inform some of the works.
“Fashion imagery always has amazing colour palettes and theatrical forms, which I wanted to reflect in these pieces. Using small crops of editorial images as a base, the works expand on,
and create, worlds within small, unnoticeable moments,” said Brock.
With a strong desire to shun the structure of her domestic role, and knowing it was scale and freedom that had to lead the work, the resulting abstracts are energetic, layered and just as
captivating as any figurative work Brock has previously produced.
Using this series as an escape, Brock’s palettes and brushwork are alive. You can feel them, and Brock has discovered a visual language that feels more personal and essential than ever
Title: Rush Rush Gone by Anya Brock
Location: Whitespace Gallery 1 Pakenham Street, Fremantle
Dates: 6-13 December 2020
ABOUT ANYA BROCK
Anya Brock’s work is instantly recognisable – surety of brushwork, informed colour play and emotional mark making that imparts a fierce intensity onto her semi abstracted subjects.
Born in 1983 in Western Australia, to industrious small business owners, Anya saw early success with her eponymous fashion label and an extensive foray in the fashion industry in Europe. The pull of painting led a shift in direction and a return to Australia, where her work found passionate audiences and critical acclaim.
Anya opened a gallery in Fremantle in 2013 and a flagship store in Sydney’s Surry Hills in 2014.
Anya’s practise investigates organic exaggeration and distortion, with the progression of her more recent work pushing her to explore looser abstraction.
Ever the explorer and critical thinker, Anya shifts seamlessly between subject matter, granting each her distinct visual language and innate confidence.
Her work can be found in private collections around the globe, and her large scale murals on cityscapes in Los Angeles, Sydney and Perth.
Anya lives in Fremantle with her husband and two children.
Image: Anya Brock: Rush Rush Gone ©Chantel Concei