Isolation for Daylesford artist Andrew McIlroy has meant months spent in his studio painting large scale artworks for a new exhibition.
While based on the wilderness of the coastlines of Tasmania, for Mr McIlroy the works also represent the uncertainty of recent months and what lies ahead.
"The inspiration came from a couple of trips to Tasmania before lockdown and it was just a quieter pace getting away from the last year that's been quite hectic," he said. "Then I came in to the isolation of the studio which in a way was an escape but like all escapes there comes a time to resurface again."
The resulting 14 artworks, which will go on exhibition in Melbourne next month, reflect the isolation of the landscape and more recently of society in general.
"Working as a painter, I cannot help but act these feelings out and onto my canvas. It's a safe place, I guess - a solitary place."
It's been an exhausting creative period for Mr McIlroy while confined to his studio.
"I'm quite a physical painter ... very gestural and use my full body as I paint. I paint on large canvases and they are very dynamic and sweeping images."
Mr McIlroy said the arts industry had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and faced an uncertain future.
"The uncertainty of what's ahead is really strong. I do suffer from anxiety, like most of us, and we don't know what the art market is going to be like and what the art appreciation audience will be like.
"Spending on artwork is quite discretionary. People don't spend money on renovations or new kitchens in difficult time, let alone art.
"But it's been interesting because during the COVID period some galleries have reported really good sales as people turned their mind to it, looking at online exhibitions or appointment only viewing in galleries."
IN OTHER NEWS
After not having exhibited in Melbourne for five years Mr McIlroy was delighted when Melbourne gallery owner Paul Sumner approached him to exhibit at his Artvisory Gallery.
Passage: New Paintings by Andrew McIlroy is open from July 25 to August 19 at Artvisory Gallery, 409 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.
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