HSC Visual Art Resources

A resource site for visual art teachers and secondary students completing their HSC in the Visual Arts

ABBEY MCCULLOCH

Abbey McCulloch
Bombe Alaska 2011
Oil on canvas
150 x 120cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Abbey McCulloch
Bell Pepper 2011
Oil on canvas
150 x 120cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Abbey McCulloch, born 1975, New Zealand, lives and works in Queensland.


Abbey McCulloch paints quirky sometimes unsettling, representations of female figures sketched onto a sparse background. Working with bold colour choices and often highly textured facial features,  McCulloch creates visually engaging paintings, resulting in figures that entice us, yet stand guarded and restrained within our presence. Raw emotion is presented to us through the use of loose charcoal sketches that work up to the highly worked-up painted facial expressions. “I like the idea of exposing the processes and, in doing so, the final product is left with a more restless conclusion.”

Abbey McCulloch draws her inspiration from friends, family, glossy magazines and photographs she has taken of women in shopping centers and off the street, looking for those awkward interactions that happen within these settings. Completing a masters in fine art from the Queensland College of Art and working from a studio along the Gold Coast, McCulloch’s paintings often resemble an expressive style done with a minimalist aesthetic. McCulloch cites Nan Goldin, Ellen von Unwerth and Steven Klien as influences on her work and practice.

These paintings explore women within all their complexities and contradictions, the figures are guarded, yet also on display. “I want these works to flirt with resemblance. It is not of concern to me if my works are complete and faithful reflections. I don’t want a xerox. I am in pursuit of something that is not visible. I want to construct a version of a person as I think they should be seen.” McCulloch’s paintings play with proportion and scale, exaggerating  lines giving the figures an alluring yet sinister charm.

I look for awkward locations such as shopping malls and cafes, places where people reveal their vulnerabilities. These places make for great psychological landscapes where people are thrust into situations, where judgements are being made, where they are manufacturing roles and putting up defenses.

– Abbey McCulloch

They’re multi-faceted. They’re confident yet insecure, they want to flirt but don’t want to be seduced… They’re extremely complex, but very real.

– Helen Gory

Abbey’s got this very nice, loose, illustrative style that has that feeling of graffitied spontaneity to it.

– Edward Colless

I guess it comes down to the nature of what attracts you to some people. It can be quite a narcissistic process, because you look for elements you see in yourself or want for yourself in someone else, or even just things you admire.

– Abbey McCulloch

I’m not going to stop and start painting trains. There’s a minefield of social and psychological ammunition out there – it’s endless… If I could succinctly capture everything I see every type of woman doing, then I’ll expand my subject matter. But until then I’m kept challenged by these creatures of duality and extremes.

– Abbey McCulloch

Her paintings are really quirky and funky and out there, but she’s still using traditional and beautiful drawing components and combining them with traditional painting components.

– Helen Gory

Her subjects are at once brave and vulnerable, glamorous and self-conscious, ostentatious and selfcontrolled offering a version of beauty tainted by the unsettling and strange. …. The beauty of McCulloch’s women is in the way they are rendered, for they are raw and unconstrained.

– Jess Berry 2010

Abbey McCulloch
Cabin Fever 3 2010
Charcoal on paper
51 x 64cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Abbey McCulloch
Typhoon 2010
Oil on canvas
100 x 100cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK:

ARTIST

  • Abbey McCulloch, completed a masters at Queensland College of Art of fine art
  • interested in the depiction of the female figure through emotive expression
  • works in painting and drawing mediums

ARTWORK

  • paintings and drawings
  • often sketched on first with charcoal
  • sparse, flat backgrounds, devoid of objects or other forms
  • emphasis on colour
  • expressive forms
  • highly detailed, worked on facial features. whilst other areas are left as flat tones of colour

AUDIENCE

  • can view the artworks in galleries and museums
  • personal reactions to the highly expressive depiction of the female figure

WORLD

  • draws inspiration from glossy magazines produced around the world and then sold in Australia
  • influenced by artists such as Nan Goldin, Ellen von Unwerth and Steven Klien

Abbey McCulloch
SALLY 2009
Oil on canvas
100 x 100cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Abbey McCulloch
Nell 2009
Oil and charcoal on canvas
150 x 90cm
image credits: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

THE FRAMES:

SUBJECTIVE

  • personal reactions to emotionally depicted female forms.
  • personal reaction to bright colours
  • reminded of cartoon style, graphic design figures
  • imaginative response to the depiction of varied emotions within the paintings

STRUCTURAL

  • charcoal and paint on canvas (oil paint)
  • bright colours
  • sparse coloured backdrops
  • highly detailed facial features
  • non-realistic forms
  • constructed from inspiration drawn from magazines and photos taken of women in shopping centers and out on the street

CULTURAL

  • explores and challenges the depictions of women
  • influenced by magazine imagery

POSTMODERN

  • appropriates magazine photography and depiction of the female form
  • portraits that play with various different emotions drawing the viewer in but also making them wary
  • re-configures facial features
  • challenges how women are represnented

Abbey McCulloch
I Don’t Want To Think
Oil on Canvas
60 x 75 cm
image credits: http://www.schubertcontemporary.com.au/

Abbey McCulloch
Snygg 2008 (triptych)
oil on canvas
120 x 450cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

PRACTICE:

  • painting skills in portraiture, expressive and minimalist styles
  • drawing ability as well as knowledge of photographing street photography style with a camera
  • interested in alternative depictions of women from those in magazines
  • explores depicting female figures with various emotions depicted within them
  • works i a studio on the gold coast
  • has a masters in fine art from Queensland College of Fine Art

Abbey McCulloch
Delphine 2010
Oil on canvas
100 x 100cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Abbey McCulloch
Of Things to Come 2011 (installation view)
Oil on canvas
150 x 480cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

RELEVANT LINKS:

http://abbeymcculloch.com.au/

http://www.helengory.com/#/Artist/Abbey-McCulloch/Work

http://www.schubertcontemporary.com.au/Contemporary/Links/McCulloch_Abbey.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/arts/stories/s3259023.htm

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Arts/The-art-of-being-a-woman/2005/02/15/1108229993896.html

Abbey McCulloch
Toni Collette
oil on canvas
150 x 120cm
image credits: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

Abbey McCulloch
Cabin Fever 6 2010
Charcoal on paper
51 x 64cm
image credits: http://www.helengory.com

Advertisements

Information

This entry was posted on 22/07/2012 by in All, Australian, Drawing, Painting.
%d bloggers like this: