Ian Napier | Recent Paintings ’14

By Hannah Scholte

                                                                                                                                                                Ian Napier.

From the calm period when the school is out, to walking through Alexandra Gardens.

It’s where he lives and works, and where his art is currently showing at Bird’s Gallery.

“It’s understated, it’s quiet,” Mr Napier said of the leafy suburb.

His art, however, is anything but.

Mr Napier’s work is figurative, in strong colours, boldly delineated in black and thickly painted on the canvas. He often adds words, combining the visual and verbal in one image.

It’s work he described as “expressionistic, whimsical and surreal.”

He works sometimes from his kitchen bench overlooking the garden, or from his backyard studio. Drawing upon sights from the street and past experiences, he creates emotive work that aims to stir something in the viewer.

Mr Napier said that the close quarters he shares with his work makes it hard to step back and imagine what others see, but he hopes people are able to look beyond appearances.

“I want them to take away something else, their own interpretation… I want them to take something that perhaps I didn’t.”

Mr Napier, who studied under iconic Australian painter John Brack, has had work acquired by the Australian National Gallery and has exhibited in the access gallery of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Bird’s Gallery director Brigita Lastauskaite met Mr Napier a year ago when he came into the High Street venue.

“We were blown away by the raw and expressive freedom of his work,” Ms Lastauskaite said.


Ian Napier’s exhibition ‘Recent Paintings’ opened at Bird’s Gallery on February 1, with what Mr Napier described as “overwhelming support,” a crowd turning out despite the sweltering afternoon heat. The show runs until February 22.

For more information visit www.birdsgallery.com.au.

Ian Napier ‘Admiration’, 2013, acrylics on canvas.


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