Image: Wayde Owen, "Memory & Growth", Oil on canvas 100 x 80cm
This young artist won the 2005 Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship, was a finalist in the Churchie Emerging Artist Award in 2006 and 2008, in the Metro Art Award in 2007, and has spent time as a guest of AGNSW at the Cite des Arts International in Paris. Aside from that, he's been very energetic, exhibiting in numerous high quality group exhibitions (Ray Hughes Gallery, Gold Coast City Art Gallery) and fathering a child, the subject of one of my favourite paintings in his new show ("Son of God").
The work is a change for Owen, painting now in oil colour instead of black and white acrylic or presenting an illustrative line -and the wonderful surprise is, he's turned out to be a beautiful colourist. His execution is painterly, the images strong and memorable (AND strange: I want to buy "Over the Under, (John Marsden)") and his prices more than reasonable for an artist who assuredly is dedicated and has a strong vision and equally strong future. He appears to have combined the personal story telling of his friend Alan Jones with the wackiness and line of Adam Cullen, in a personal , exciting style which explores the possibility of paint. His drawings are equally compelling - the mute effort at communication of his signature quails in "Memory drawing #1" is poignant and gets under your skin.
Go see the show, and, better, buy a painting.