Interview with Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

Today’s story is about celebrating the courage of one’s conviction, changing careers, following dreams, having unequivocal dedication to pursue art as a career and kicking a few goals along the way. Enter .

Julian is a 36 year old Sydney-based artist. After originally training in medicine, Meagher committed to a career as an artist, studying at in Florence. A founding member of artist run gallery , Julian has held numerous solo exhibitions over nine years in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Los Angeles. Meagher was a finalist for the 2014 Archibald Prize with the acclaimed portrait of actor John Waters. In 2009 and 2012, Julian was the recipient of the New Work Grant from the Australia Council of the Arts. He has been finalist multiple times in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Salon des Refuses, Metro Art Prize, and Blake Prize.

Following a sell-out show at MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY in Los Angeles last year, Meagher will debut his first solo exhibition titled ‘Drinking with the other Sun’ at which opens tonight.

 

Julian Meagher / Drinking with the other Sun
22 April – 10 May 2015
OLSEN IRWIN / 63 Jersey Road, Woollahra 2025 NSW

 

Julian Meagher studio shot | Yellowtrace
Julian Meagher in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

+ Hello Julian, welcome to Yellowtrace and thank you for taking the time to e-chat with us. Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourself? You used to work as a doctor – at what point did you decide you wanted to become an artist and how did you make the transition?

I am a 36 year old Sydney based painter. I had always wanted to be an artist as a child. I became a doctor after school, however always felt the pull toward art, but I knew the path there would be hard, and it took a little time to build up the courage to make the leap. When I finally made the shift, the timing was right, I was very driven and disciplined enough by then. I will forever appreciate how lucky I am to walk into a studio each day.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

+ What are you seeking to portray in your work? What is fundamental to your art practice – your philosophy and your approach?

I paint in oils but in a technique that resembles watercolour, so the works have a kind of translucency and luminosity. They are quite considered and symbolic in nature, however still have some areas of loose application, which I think reflects my personality in a way. My key philosophy is painting every day, process is my focus, from this results subtle shifts forward and small breakthroughs over time.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

+ Tell us about your upcoming solo show ‘Drinking with the other Sun’. How did it come about?

This show resulted from an increasing interest in both personal and inherited history. Lineage portraits are paired with still lifes of reclaimed glass bottles. The English rose is countered by the native Banksia. Inversion and reflection are strong symbols in this series of the cyclical nature of history, especially in contemporary Australian masculinity.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

+ Who or what are some of your influences? What other artists and creatives in general do you admire?

‘s elevation of the mundane to the metaphysical is a big influence in my work. The kind of less is more philosophy rings loudly within me. Even though I am a painter I am often drawn to video art for its creative potential. is known for his arresting video work in which he masterfully splices and re-arranges environments into abstracted time-space explorations. I actually first saw this work at an art fair in Shanghai and have never forgotten how every single person including the security guards and labourers stopped and stared when they passed his work. I think this moment really rammed home to me that great art captures a viewer no matter what the extent of their art background and knowledge.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

 

+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts about your work you could share with us?

I have been getting some weird looks recently when sourcing flowers to paint. I suppose a 6ft 5 man, climbing up a tree, trying to reach a high branch can appear a little comical.

+ What advice would you have to emerging artists who want to follow your path? What was some of your biggest lessons learned since starting your practice?

Find a good mentor. My old friend Jasper Knight looked after me a lot in the early years, I used to share a studio with him. Surround yourself with artists who push themselves to make great work. It is a lonely and unsure road sometimes, I think you have to have it in your blood alongside an unequivocal dedication in order to keep the love for making art year after year. Things never happen quickly.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace
Let’s get real:

+ If I was not a artist, I would be… a dog walker.

+ What’s the best mistake you have ever made? Tequila shots.

+ What’s one thing other people may not know about you? I am addicted to watching NBA.

+ It’s not very cool, but I really like… hugs.

 

Interview Sydney Artist Julian Meagher | Yellowtrace

Julian Meagher studio shot, Photo by Mark Jay | Yellowtrace
Julian Meagher in his studio. Photo by Mark Jay.

 


[Images courtesy of the artist.]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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