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June 2, 2010

“Cuckoo” – from Asperatus by Matt Huynh

Wow… Tuesday was a jam packed night. The image above is a photo I took at my friend Matt Huynh’s exhibition, Asperatus. Some of you may know him, or recognise his work, either from his comic books or perhaps from his illustration work with Jacky Winter. Matt’s an incredible artist and I always look forward to seeing what new things he’s been up to.

Asperatus is the name of his new series of artworks. For context, I don’t think I could possibly explain it better than he can:

Explain the title of the show Asperatus and what does it mean to you in relation to your work?
Asperatus felt fitting to me, it roughly translates to ‘agitated’ or ‘roughened’ in Latin. In recent times it’s appeared as the name for a newly discovered cloud formation, the first in over half a century. They are clouds that look heavy and dark, and they pulse down towards the Earth like ripples viewed from below the skin of water, but despite their appearance they disperse without casting a storm.

It captures the zeitgeist for me – the turbulence of present times; the dis-empowering confusion of increasingly lateral problems; effects or consequences abstracted from the causes of modern challenges; and the mystifying signs and clues as to where we’re all headed. With this in mind, my process for this illustration series involved embracing chance, chaos, instinct, intuition, dreams and other subconscious states to create my symbols and construct visual compositions

(excerpt from The Finders Keepers Blog)

The series consists of 14 artworks, made with ink, charcoal, paint and gesso. You can take a look at them in his gallery. They are dark and foreboding dreamscapes, made all the more sinister by the PERFECT setting. The Skeleton Room at the Australian Museum!

I love the Australian Museum, and The Skeleton Room has always been a favourite. I almost laughed when I read the invitation; I couldn’t imagine a setting more well suited.

Asperatus in the Australian Museum
Asperatus in the Australian Museum

It was intensely eerie visiting the museum at night time. (I only wished I could creep around to the rest of the exhibits. But never mind!) It was fabulous to see how Matt’s drawings gave the room a new context, and to correspondingly see themes amplified and echoed in the surroundings.

“Constellation” from Asperatus, probably my favourite artwork of the night

The Skeleton Room at the Australian Museum

Apart from the artworks, it was really nice to run into so many familiar faces during the night. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay as long as I wished, but I’m glad I could take part in such a unique experience.

Congratulations Matt!


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