Small stories unfolding

by HRM on December 12, 2012

Five questions with artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers

kyle-hughes-odgers-Impossible-Solutions

kyle-hughes-odgers-profile-picThere’s a Confucius quote that goes something like “the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”  Kyle Hughes-Odgers is the exceptionally talented Perth-based artist who is carrying these small stones. He is always working, chipping away at creating new pieces, and then all of a sudden you realize that the whole mountain’s been moved – as if it happened overnight. But that’s what being productive and dedicated often looks like from the outside. As if overnight the success story has been written when in reality it’s been a long time in the making. Kyle is an inspiration when it comes to achieving and staying focused. In the last year alone, he’s held his first European solo-show, painted in strange locations around the globe, and illustrated his first kid’s book.

His work is fine-tuned yet humble. It is whimsical and precise and even though you’ll feel transported by it you’ll still feel safe. You’ll want to look closely, to see every detail and when you do, you’ll feel something of a curiosity and sadness and hopefulness all at once.

– Lacey Haynes

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One: What are you currently working on?
I’m preparing a new body of work for my next solo exhibition with Turner Galleries in Perth, Western Australia which opens Feb 8 2013. I am also working on a large scale sculptural cut-out steel installation for DMG architects. The final work will be 6m at the highest point and 40m in total width. So I will be spending most of the summer in the studio to get this work complete.

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Two: What’s it like to be based in Perth, Western Australia – ‘the most remote city in the world’?
I travel a lot but I tend to be very productive when I’m back in Perth and in the studio. There is a lot of development taking place [in Perth] at the moment, which is interesting to watch.

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Three: Do you consider your street art and fine art to be part of the same thread?
They are part of the same thread stylistically but my studio work tends to have more complex ideas and concepts where as my street work is more about the use of scale, placement and integrating the work to either reflect or contrast each unique location. Studio work seems more intimate and focused, where as my street work is a much more visceral.

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Four: Your paintings, when seen together, tend to depict an overarching story or theme. Tell us how this all unfolds.
When I start working on a new exhibition or group of paintings I usually start with a single idea or narrative that I’m basing the series on. Each painting works individually and also as an extension of the surrounding paintings in the set. This helps me to build up a bigger world with multiple layers and sub-stories within the larger concept.

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Five: When looking back over 2012, what’s the most exciting thing you had the chance to be a part of? And what do you look forward to in 2013?
I’m not sure I can pin point one project as 2012 has been very busy but it was great to hold my first international solo exhibition in Berlin last February. Taking a residency in Port Hedland in the Pilbara and painting walls / found objects and experiencing the desert landscape was great. Painting in abandoned French mansions in the jungle of Cambodia was also unforgettable. I appreciate traveling for projects and getting to see lots of different places around the world. 2013 I’m looking forward to my upcoming solo show with Turner Galleries, exhibiting in Europe and painting in more unexpected places.

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See more of Kyle’s work at www.kylehughesodgers.com

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