11 February - 2 March 2010
about the exhibition
A sense of passing time is apparent in the recent still life paintings of Crispin Akerman. Worn enamel jugs, ancient leather-bound books, fruits and autumn leaves evoke a seasonal transience. Crispin’s use of a timeless vocabulary of domestic objects presented against textural folds of table linen and drapery, enables him to capture the simple beauty of ordinary objects. His highly constructed arrangement of these objects also magnifies their visual presence and symbolic power. For example, the placement of books with fruit suggests intellectual as well as nutritional nourishment. Each wooden, ceramic, enamel or metal object is a remnant of the past and possesses its own history, contrasting with the perishable nature of the apples and pears grouped beside them. This juxtaposition reflects the balance of permanent and transient aspects of life. The architectural and decorative balance implied in the forms also carries with it the notion of instability and chaos, as if something is about to happen. The carefully positioned objects may at any moment tumble from their tabletops. The elements that Crispin finds so interesting about his genre are “the contemplative potential in it, the suggestion of the kinetic in the static, [and] the metaphysical promise present in the very words ‘still life’ ”.
Born in England, Crispin Akerman came to Australia with his family in 1966. After many years in the music industry, Crispin decided to purse his lifelong interest in the visual arts, completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Canberra School of Art in 1992. Crispin’s first solo exhibition was held at Beaver Galleries in 1995 and he has since established a wide following across Australia, regularly exhibiting in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney. Crispin Akerman’s paintings are represented in the collections of Artbank, Parliament House and the Australian National University. This is Crispin’s ninth exhibition with Beaver Galleries.