Creating artwork according chance

Our latest Dragon’s Lair Gallery artist Evonne Manias studied at St George School of Fine Arts, Sydney Institute TAFE. Her current body of work is responding to contemporary issues in the world around her, specifically the concern about our relationship to plastics that are often carelessly abandoned. Her exhibition Chance, Order and the Discarded will be on show at Hurstville Museum & Gallery from 11 May – 2 June 2019.

Evonne recently took some time to answer some questions about her techniques and art practice.

Found Painting (Packaging), IGA Carpark_h10.5cmxw11cm

Found painting (packaging), IGA carpark, Evonne Manias

Can you explain your technique and how you manipulate your chosen medium?

I predominately use collage and spray paint. When beginning a collage, I hand draw a grid as the initial layer then arrange the items based on the grid system.

Many artworks are created, collaging multiples of the same object that are then painted over, some are only slightly manipulated and other artefacts are displayed as they were found.

EM process

Evonne Manias completing grid based artwork. Image courtesy of the artist.

Can you give us an insight into your artistic process? Is your work pre-planned or created intuitively?

The initial idea for Chance, Order and the Discarded was an intuitive one. I was collecting rubbish on my walks around South Hurstville and Carss Park. I have been picking up rubbish for years and not given any thought to using it in my arts practice, however I started noticing that I was finding multiples of the same items. I became interested in the repetition of colours, shapes and objects, so I started collecting certain items and discarding others.

At that point, I did not have a predetermined image in my mind of how the artworks will look. Each individual piece is a direct response to the object (or collection of similar objects).

Some artworks are made instantaneously while others can take months. It really depends on the object itself, the material it is made from and the feeling I get when I find it.

I draw on a combination of intuition, pre-planning and direct interaction with the material itself when making aesthetic decisions.

EM artwork

Detail of Chance, order and the discarded, Hurtville Museum & Gallery

Do you keep some kind of ongoing drawing book or diary? Or a collection of images or photographs for inspiration?

I have several process diaries and journals on the go simultaneously. Each diary has a specific purpose, for example I use one to write ideas, thoughts and notes on books I am reading and others for sketches, experiments, colour notations etc. I also repurpose used books as journals. In these, I experiment with various mark-marking techniques over the printed text and images.

Who are your favourite artists? Who do you draw inspiration from?

I have a deep love for abstraction and non-representational painting and have many favourite artists in that genre; Helen Frankenthaler, Agnes Martin, Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz are probably my top four.

One of my absolute favourite Australian Artists is Charlie Sheard, he taught me colour theory at UNSW and is a truly amazing artist.

For the body of work in Chance, Order and the Discarded I have been drawing inspiration from Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Kurt Schwitters.


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