For artist Miles Noel, however, contemplating the vulnerability of life inspired his latest exhibition, Fragile States.
‘I was entering my late 20s and subconsciously noticing I wasn’t looking as young anymore; my body was starting to show signs of wear and tear and that was when I decided I wanted to present the fragility of flesh,’ the 30-year-old self-taught painter and photographer told Community.
‘I wanted to make a concerted effort to focus on portraiture to improve my skills and push myself to create some exciting work.’
The collection ” which melds expressionism with the illusionary possibilities of realism ” comprises 14 paintings, brought to life from photos taken of friends and acquaintances using a dramatic studio light modelling technique at his home.
‘Portraiture is a really powerful and engaging genre ” it’s creating an illusion of another person in a painting and I’m really drawn to that,’ he said.
‘I wanted to play around with different techniques ” dripping, bleeding ” and make reference to how they could look like flesh and explore a variety of emotional states.
‘Some of the paintings here are quite brutal in their painterly effect, while some are quite subtle.’
Fragile States builds on Noel’s passion for painted portraiture, which last year produced pop-up exhibition Earthly Delights, inspired by his love of gardening and featuring women among botanical scenes.
He is in the throes of applying for a National Science Week grant to paint famous WA and international scientists, an idea that arose from his day job as a graphic designer at Scitech.
If successful, Noel plans to exhibit at PICA or the State Theatre Centre of WA.
‘Since becoming exposed to the science world, I’ve realised that scientists are not as widely known as they should be, considering their achievements.’