Shaun Tan – Every Place is the Same Place

b70bff32-91db-4aeb-b2e8-f02ba5505a4917th ~ 20th November
Open Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm

Artist talk Saturday 19th Nov, 2pm

As a follow up to Tan’s Little Brunswick, exhibited with Tinning Street in 2015, this exhibition will feature 100 small landscapes painted between 2010 and 2016, featuring various places Tan has visited during that time: Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, North America and of course the cultural epicentre of the world where he’s been living and working for the past ten years: Brunswick.

Beach Parking Lot, Santa Monica, 2012. Oil on board, 15x20cm

“Such observational oil sketches have been a regular part of my practice since I was in high-school, much inspired by the cigar-box-lid sketches of the Heidelberg artists, particularly the 9 x 5 Impression Exhibition of 1889. Over the intervening decades I’ve come to appreciate the sheer practicality of this scale, finding that a panel of 20 x 15cm is just big enough to carry a scene honestly, resist excessive detail and revision, and always draw me back to an unpretentious focus on basic principles: light, atmosphere and a simple sense of place and time. Such studies are frequently the basis of other imaginative departures into books and film, a constant reminder to look outward before looking inward, and above all else to simply learn how to look, a never-ending student exercise.” S.T.

Sewing Machine Building, Albion St, 2016. Oil on board, 15x20cm
Sewing Machine Building, Albion St, 2016. Oil on board, 15x20cm

“To paint a variety of landscapes is to realize that that every place is entirely different from every other place, so absolutely specific in composition and unique in personality. But over time there comes a greater understanding, that every place is actually the same place, always planted upon this one spot – wherever your feet happen to be – and then planted in that other spot, your mind. And there’s a third spot, a physical surface where each place can persist as an imperfect, paint-encrusted memory – half seen and half recalled – one that will probably outlive its original point of reference (I notice, for instance, that a number of local trees in my paintings have since been cut down). As for choice, I usually don’t know exactly why I feel so attracted to a certain scene, only that I do: perhaps the act of painting is itself an attempt to answer that very question. Or to simply say ‘I was here, I saw this’, expanding upon each idle glance, stopping it from drifting away, affording some chance to pause and think.” S.T.

d7e43b98-854e-4a66-aca2-e01a30b29f05Tinning Street is open:
Thursday – Sunday 11 – 5pm
Enter via Ilhan Lane