Exhibitions

The Suburban Sweet

Simon Mee

8 June - 13 August 2006

The Suburban Sweet series is the latest work of Brisbane-based artist Simon Mee.

The series consists of large oil paintings exploring the contemporary human condition within the context of suburban Brisbane. It includes ten large paintings depicting figures, largely derived from porcelain dolls, set into allegories, such as the last judgment that is intended to be both poetic and personal.

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The Suburban Sweet series is the latest work of Brisbane-based artist Simon Mee.

The series consists of large oil paintings exploring the contemporary human condition within the context of suburban Brisbane. It includes ten large paintings depicting figures, largely derived from porcelain dolls, set into allegories, such as the last judgment that is intended to be both poetic and personal.

Over the past four years Mee has been working on a series of figurative paintings, entitled The Suburban Sweet. In these paintings he has attempted to engage in themes regarding our contemporary human condition, our society and its problems, fears, phobias and emotions. To do this he has set a range of figures into a series of narratives and allegories set within suburban contexts. These figures mostly derived from porcelain doll models and the allegories, such as the last judgment, that are intended to be both poetic and personal.

To engage the audience Mee uses the seductiveness of painting and the instinctive reactions we have to certain imagery to create visual "Gordian knots" that generate a range of emotional and intellectual responses. He enjoys using the alluring and decorative qualities of painting combined humour, satire, titillation or 'lightness'. In this respect the work has been informed by Victorian art, Fragonard, Poussin, Goya, John Currin and Walton Ford.

The suburban, in particular suburban Brisbane, is representative of both the utopian and dystopian and has given the artist appropriate scenarios to investigate the personal, the social and the role of art. Through engaging with his suburban surrounds Mee gains a vital source of relevance and ideas, a more compassionate viewpoint and visual reference that is familiar with most of the audience. His work operates within the contemporary visual arts sphere, with a focus on contemporary figurative painting.

This series has been funded by a twelve month Arts Queensland creative fellowship which has allowed Mee to work full time on completing the series. This exhibition will be the first time the complete series has been shown together.

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