Jan 2017 feature artist Adrian Huls

Adriana Huls’ art is a challenge. Where most artists start with an object, figure or scene from present reality and represent that through a process that could be described as ingestion followed by expression, Adriana taps directly into her unconscious and from there elaborates on an interior event, which is then expressed through a drawing or painting.

Adriana comes from an artistic family and has been actively involved in drawing or painting since she was very young. After living for some years in an artists’ commune in Amsterdam, studying writing in a rebellious fashion for four years, she lived from the age of 18 to 32 on a cargo barge and traversed the canal systems of the Dutch and French countryside. At that stage she was producing nature drawings from the landscapes she was passing through.

She came to live in Australia and started painting in acrylics, oils and fluoro paints. From her years in Amsterdam she also brought a strong involvement in music. She attended dance parties where electronic composers delved deep into the tones and textures of electronic music in the quest for powerful psychedelic experiences. Adriana was engaged in enacting her paintings at large electronic parties, working directly onto a surface which was projected onto a large screen above the dancers.

When she is working at peak output, she works with a furious intensity, producing for long days, hour after hour without a break, continuing until she is physically exhausted and can barely hold a pen or paint brush in her hand. She told me about her practice phases, where she works with her left (non-dominant) hand, with both hands at once, or with her eyes shut. When asked what she was practising with these methods, she said courage and freedom.

Nimbin Artists Gallery will be displaying a selection of Adriana’s paintings and line drawings through January.

Submarine Playground takes us into an underwater world populated by various mythical and imaginary sea creatures: there’s a spirit in a boat, a swan, and the central theme is set by the two small water sprites, playing what looks like a board game, which may be the play of creation, or the game of life.

The larger part of Still Point is a riot of forms in vibrant oranges, reds, browns, depicting birds, goblins, human and other creatures. All this forms a broad frame around a scene in a totally contrasting mood, in cooler blue greens and pearled white. One’s first impression is of looking at a soft, dreamy landscape through a heavily coloured, frame. Alternatively the central oasis of calm is the main subject, and the hyperactive surround is just there to contrast and highlight the mood of that subject. This viewer is drawn to seeing the surrounding jumble as representing the turmoil of our everyday mental activity (our monkey-mind), through which one is either seeing outwards, to the pastoral landscape of a yearned for world beyond our daily life, or seeing inwards, a glimpse of the unmoving, unconditioned self at the heart of our being.

After the kingfisher's wing Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still At the still point of the turning world. Burnt Norton, T.S. Eliot.

Drop into Nimbin Artists Gallery and experience a range of Adriana’s arresting works through January.

Peter Warne

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