Luke Shelley and Noella Lopez on Artefact Series

Luke Shelley and Noella Lopez on Artefact Series


Artefact Series Reviewed by Noella Lopez

Luke’s practice is unique, personal and contemporary! Luke follows his instincts and artistry, and each time creates new artworks and installations which take you on his journey of explorations and discoveries. His etchings are exquisite. His drawings and paintings of found objects and flora and fauna, are inspiring, reassuring, beautiful, and if you look at them carefully they hint at an edge and intriguing details. His vision of the Australian coastline and landscape is delicate, realistic yet inventive and poetic. His works are precious and very special and I doubt you will tire of looking at them again and again.

The Artefact series is a body of work focusing on a single found object. The subtlety of Luke’s colour palette and interpretation are shown at their most successful with these works using the watercolour paints. With this transparent water based paint, Luke accentuates the transparency and the lightness of the objects eroded by the sea or the weather and abandoned in foreign conditions. These artworks can work well in pairs or as a triptych to bounce off the colours of each other, play with the themes or show off the fragility of the world we live in.

Noella Lopez 2014


Artefact Series by Luke Shelley

Through watercolour studies of man-made found objects retrieved from various beaches around my home, I compose the concepts of the “Artefacts of modern life” and invite the viewer to engage in thoughts of the human impact on the environment.

Frayed tousles of rope, shattered pieces of polystyrene, discoloured plastic bottles, deteriorating rubber thongs and tangles of fishing line are commonly found objects along our beaches and foreshores. Much to my regret, they exist as reminders of our modern ‘throw-away’ society. Like natural Flotsam, they too endure a lifetime at sea exposed to weather systems. Like a species of their own, they migrate with the ocean currents, slowly breaking down and becoming part of the ecosystem.

It is with this mindset that I choose to collect these “artefacts of modern life” and treat them as if they are natural specimen of the marine environment. They capture my imagination and conjure questions: where have they been? Where was their origin? How long have they been at sea? These intriguing objects fascinate me, yet at the same time exist as a souvenir of the devastating human impact on our planet.

Luke Shelley 2014


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