Words: Rose of Sharon Leake
Sydney’s Liverpool Street Gallery has been busy these past few months. Despite an extended lockdown period forcing gallery closures and restricted movement, the gallery announced a new director and two new stable artists. After starting her own art advisory company, ALSTERGREN Artist Agency in early 2021, Kate Alstergren now joins the Liverpool Street Gallery team as director.
Along with new directorship, the gallery announces new representation of two artists Aaron Aryadharma Matheson and Luke Kennedy.
While Sydney-based Matheson graduated with a Master of Fine art in 2018, he has been exhibiting since 2009, including being a finalist in the Waverley Art Prize and the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize and exhibiting for Sydney Fringe Festival. His debut show at Liverpool Street Gallery, A Flash of Lightning in a Summer Cloud, showing until 9 October, sees the painter exploring portraits of the sun, layered and atmospheric.
“Matheson’s current show is one of the top debut shows I have seen anywhere in the world for the last 25 years,” says James Erskine, Liverpool Street Gallery founder. “The paintings are just breathtaking. I’d like to personally thank Steven Harvey for insisting I go to visit Aaron’s studio earlier this year. I stumbled down the stairs of his studio and almost crashed the car after the visit. Even if you aren’t an ardent art lover, these works of the sun, moon and planets will just make you feel better, just look at them however you can and enjoy.”
The gallery also welcomes Luke Kennedy, an up-and-coming painter who explores the graffiti art, or more specifically, the removal of graffiti art. “In the past, graffiti and graffiti removal is considered low art and I will investigate further in a critical aspect how it has become accepted,” says Kennedy. “It is important because I was a former graffiti artist and I’m interested in the duality of permanence and impermanence.”
Having completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at National Art School in 2020, Kennedy’s early gallery representation is proof itself for his potential. Kennedy was awarded The Mark Henry Cain Memorial UK Travelling Scholarship in 2020 and won the Waverley Prize Mayors and Acrylic Prize in 2021, as well as being a finalist in the 2021 Paddington Art Prize.
Kennedy’s debut solo show Palace Rose Garden shows at Liverpool Street Gallery from 9 to 24 December 2021.
This article was originally published 29 September 2021.
Image: Aaron Aryadharma Matheson, My Hearts Own Harmony. Acrylic paint on canvas, 168 x 122cm. Courtesy: the artist and Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney.