'Brisbane and Beyond' | Bernard Ollis

The ‘Brisbane and Beyond’ exhibition is a pictorial display of the travels of artist Sydney artist Bernard Ollis currently on show at the Sofitel Brisbane Central in Turbot St, Brisbane. Using vividly coloured oil pastels Bernard depicts Brisbane’s iconic landmarks, the back streets of Paris, New York City and the market places of Cairo. The exhibition is a reflection of his love of travel and exploration.

As a figurative artist Bernard’s interest lies with the human form; the everyday lives of people, what environment they create and inhabit. “As an artist, I relish drawing, photographing and then reinventing the subject matter, in my own particular way, expressing my experience”, says Bernard. “I always find Brisbane an exciting and rewarding experience.  One of the things that I enjoy most about travelling, is arriving in a new place and trying to make sense of it. A writer may take some descriptive notes, a photographer try to frame the view."

With floating figures, vivid colours and undulating structures, Bernard aims to visually engage the viewer to consider themselves in that very moment, an evocation of place rather than a picture perfect postcard view.

"Sometimes it is an amalgam of several places seen over a period of time. Either way the fact that  these works can take me weeks or even months to complete, means that I have ample opportunity  to think about what I want to say about each place , which takes the work way beyond a simple  recording of the location and into the realms of picture making. This licence opens up the possibilities of theatre, drama and narrative through colour, composition, intensification, and exaggeration".

Bernard Ollis is the former Director of the National Art School, Sydney and has had a constant stream of successful solo exhibitions. He has been acquired in collections such as the National Art Gallery of Australia, the Museum and Art Gallery of the  Northern Territory, Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane and the Royal College of Art UK.

Throughout his career Bernard has been selected several times for prestigious Australian Art Prizes including the Sulman Art Prize (2011 & 2003) and the Dobell Art Prize (2002, 2001 & 2000).


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