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Artist spends weeks making abstract landscapes that are so soothing to see

Following two successful editions, The Other Art Fair Sydney is back, hosting once again more than a hundred artists and their creations.

One such artist is Australian painter Juju Roche. Inspired by her memories, as well as influences from her travels, the Sydney-based creative fills her canvas with varying pigments and layers of amber shellac.

The result of which is a collection of “ethereal figurative landscapes” that straddle the abstract through a “fluid use of colour and composition.”

Each piece takes weeks to finish, but it’s all worth it, seeing how the artworks easily draw their viewers into a state of calm and enchantment.

'Cream Field', acrylic, ink & charcoal on canvas, 137 x 168cm {framed in Tasmanian Oak}… suspended in the window of Pushmataaha.

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Roche will be among 109 other artists showcasing their works at The Other Art Fair. The so-called “world’s leading artist-led contemporary art fair,” is a highly-anticipated event wherein art lovers can meet and buy direct from the best emerging, undiscovered artists – all handpicked by industry experts.

The Fair will include an immersive four-day program filled with workshops, talks, art tours, VR story-telling, activities for families, and live performances from street artists. It will be held at the Eveleigh’s Australian Technology Park from 26-29 October 2017.

‘Blue Shadow’ + ‘Glacier Glide’ hanging side by side at last months solo show. {Acrylic, ink + shellac on canvas, 90 x 110cm} Both babies were wrapped in Tassie Oak before being couriered to their Paddington + Melbourne homes. #pushmataaha #paddington #jujuroche

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We recently caught up with Roche to know more about her upcoming exhibit at The Other Art Fair Sydney.

How would you describe your artistic style to a stranger who hadn’t seen it before?

“I describe my work as large-scale ‘interpretive scapes’. Using a variety of mediums including, Indian pigment, oil pastels, ink, acrylic and varnish on canvas, I explore the fundamental artistic elements of colour, form, and material, capturing a transitory meeting between chance and considered application.

“Central to my method is working on the canvas horizontally, inviting the colours and materials to slowly work together, blend, or resist each other.

“I generally begin by envisaging a visual or physical experience, and then work on several canvases over a period of four to eight weeks: spilling, soaking, staining, and reworking. Focus is centred on eliminating the brush gesture, resulting in a fluidity of colour that evokes a sensory response of the real and the imagined.

“My practice is fluid. I often dilute the paints and use layers of transparency to create depth and subtle detail. I use my hands a lot to direct and blend the pigments – I get physically involved when painting!

“I generally use memories or feelings to inspire my works from a composition and palette point of view. From experience, I find using photographs of landscapes or seascapes (as a brief or inspiration) rather restricting and do my best work when it’s left to the imagination.”

This blue beauty is going to auction this Wednesday night to raise money for @heapsdecent ⚡️⚡️ Where: Special Group / 270 Devonshire St Surry Hills When: Wednesday 27th September Time: 6:30 – 9pm Auction begins: roughly 7:30pm @myfwarhurst will be the auctioneer Artwork: Whisper, 2017, acrylic + shellac on canvas, 84 x 92cm Heaps Decent is a dynamic art organisation that works with young people and emerging artists from diverse and marginalised communities, providing role models and a means by which they can tell their story in their own way. It began in 2007 in the school in the Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre. To celebrate 10 years of amazing work, they are holding an art auction with all proceeds going back into the organisation. My donated artwork will be exhibited alongside some incredible Australian artists… This is a great way to get into the art market and support a thriving & creative organisation at the same time. Check out the link in my profile to see the incredible artists involved & learn more about the organisation: http://heapsdecent.com/category/iheart/ @lelefraser @tonygcurran @d_a_n_b_o_y_d @_laura_jones_ @jacquie.manning @julianmeagher — just to name a few

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Who are the artists/creatives that have inspired you over the years?

“I’d have to say my two obsessions are:

“Auguste Rodin, a late 1800s French sculptor. Although I LOVE his sculptural work, it was his sketched ‘nude studies’ that sparked my fascination. In a fleeting moment, he would capture or interpret his models or ballet dancers with such fluidity and harmony, yet with an incredible amount of energy.

“I’ve always loved figurative art and ‘nudes’ and whenever I read or view Rodin’s work. I feel as if he’s captured something sacred in the human body, which I haven’t felt when viewing other artists’ works.

“The other love of my life is Helen Frankenthaler, who was a mid-twentieth century American artist influenced by Abstract Expressionist painting practices.

“She dabbled in a style of abstract painting called ‘Colour Field’ painting in the mid 1940/50s, which to this day makes me shiver with envy. Her signature technique of soak staining, along with the scale and her unique palette choices, to this day, fascinates and inspires me.

“’What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it’s pastoral, or whether someone will see a sunset in it. What concerns me is – did I make a beautiful picture?’ Helen Frankenthaler once said.”

‘Where you'd rather be’ from the Blue Ain’t Your Colour Series, 2017. Acrylic, shellac + ink on canvas, 122 x 153cm. Here she sits in the realm of Pushmataaha 🤴🔱

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Tell us what people can expect to see of yours at the Other Art Fair?

“The series for this fair is a continuance in theme from my latest exhibition Blue Ain’t Your Colour. The works explore the morphing of diverse natural elements, with particular reference to land and sea. The challenge I face on a day to day basis in the studio, is depicting this eternal play of elements in time and space in two dimensions.

“This series of work embodies movement reflective of current perceptions and self-exploration. Each painting is an autonomous creation revealing an exploration (and the celebration) of diverse emotion, impulse, chance, the accidental and the unpredictable.”

Charcoal Sea #initshome

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Tell us about how you learned or were trained to create the way you do?

“I have been obsessed with colour and creating since I can remember (primary school days!). Art was my fave and top subject at school and after a year abroad, I went on to do a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts, majoring in painting.

“The networks and techniques developed during this degree and whilst working for Blue Mountain artist, Terrance Plowright, provided me with the experience and opportunities to broaden my technical skills, create art for private collectors and businesses and exhibit on numerous occasions.

“With regards to my ‘style’, no one has taught it to me per se. It has evolved and exists because of my travels and experiences (life, work and otherwise). I am loving the works I am creating at the moment. Often it can be a real struggle in the studio, mapping out concepts and emotions in the means and manner you wish to, but I am feeling really connected with my practice and with the outcomes (which is refreshing).”

Finishing touches… keeping this purple beast minimal. #actionshot 📷 c/o @georgie_meagher 😘😘 🌿 c/o @emma_aurelsmith ☺️ #jujuroche #studio #interpretivelandscape #soakstain #igers #artist #colorful #minimal #painting 🌿

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For more details about The Other Art Fair, head on over here. You can also check out Juju Roche’s other works by visiting her website.

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