Sam I Am
There is nothing like art to make you stop and contemplate. Recently I came across a portrait by an artist who is relatively new to Broome. The sitter is a young bearded man smartly dressed in a vest and tie. He has the steely gaze of someone who’s already grappled with much in life. He commands the centre of the canvas, and the canvas commands the centre of the space in which it’s placed.
The painting is a large work done in acrylic with a stylistic dripping appearance. The sitter seems to be dripping in self-confidence and assuredness. It’s masterfully composed. The crisp silvery blue tie makes a strong focal point from which the eyes can wander and the mind can contemplate. There is a deliberate tension captured in this work that is hard to put your finger on. However there is an obvious intimacy in the painting which can only come from a close and personal relationship between the sitter and the artist. The artist and the sitter jointly dare the viewer to interpret and judge, to build a profile for this young man.
The artist is Susannah Hart, a twenty-seven year old Tasmanian who came to Broome on holiday, fell in love with a nurse and the Kimberley and decided to stay. At eighteen she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Victorian College of the Arts where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors). Susannah has had a number of group shows in both Victoria and Tasmania and her first solo show in Hobart's Salamanca Despard Gallery in 2012.
Broome needs to see more of this talented artist’s work and I’m sure we will in the very near future. In the mean time, this is Sam, a self assured young man and I join him and Susannah in daring you to judge.
Originally published in the Broome Advertiser, 16 April 2015.
The portrait "Sam" was framed at our our in-house framing studio at Art House.