24 March – 9 April 2022
about the exhibition
Crispin Akerman has earned a significant reputation for the elegant simplicity and fine balance he achieves within his favoured genre of still life painting. He uses a timeless vocabulary of domestic items such as ceramics, fruit, drapery and enamelware as well as native Australian flora to capture a sense of quiet contemplation, history and beauty. In this recent body of work, Crispin has been interested in exploring different ways of dividing the picture surface – looking particularly at the paintings of Jean – Édouard Vuillard and his use of patterns and colour. By introducing these elements within his own paintings, Crispin adds to the abstract space in which the objects are depicted, resulting in beautiful interplays of shape and colour. As he explains “I have played with the idea of putting the main point of interest at the top of the painting (Sunflowers) and then the bottom half becomes something else again, almost like a painting within a painting.” This process of choosing and arranging the objects is very considered, taking him many hours to achieve. Sometimes it can be a new object that inspires the composition, other times, a particular colour or angle of light. While the works are largely observational, the arrangement of the objects is highly constructed over underlying geometries, allowing for the exploration of harmony, balance, tension, light and atmosphere.
Born in England, Crispin Akerman came to Australia with his family in 1966. He spent many years in the music industry but decided in 1989 to pursue his lifelong interest in the visual arts. He received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Canberra School of Art in 1992 and has since received significant recognition for his painting. Crispin’s first solo exhibition was held at Beaver Galleries in 1995 and his popularity has gone from strength to strength with each exhibition. Crispin’s paintings are represented in collections including Artbank, Parliament House, BHP Billiton, the Australian National University, Canberra Eye Hospital and the City of Bunbury.