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Crisis, What Crisis?

Changing times, changing influences
and changing style.
Recent work by Hugh Kerr.

Crisis, What Crisis? presents a collection of work completed between 2019 and 2021. It represents a period of transition for the influences on my work, both external and internal.

My inspiration comes from society, politics and world events, as featured in my previous exhibitions Notes of Discord (2017) and Further Notes of Discord (2018). My fascination with world events continued as they pitched and rolled their way through the chaotic 2010s and then, suddenly into the strange, awful, upside-down world of the pandemic in 2020.

While COVID-19 has cause pain and disruption for countless people, I feel that as a result, a number of long-term negative political, social and environmental trends now have a chance to be diverted. Also, I have started to feel a certain tiredness with relentlessly following world news which has, over the past 5 years, started to feel like witnessing a slow motion motorway accident from a passing car.   

The ideas for my work are also strongly influenced by my inner life, which like most is sometimes unsettled and occasionally turbulent. This has been one such phase, where I have reached my late 40s, a phase of life that requires adjustment for many, and which for me has brought transitions in professional life, parenthood, identity and sense of belonging.  But these things too have been altered by the pandemic which resulted for me in a period of relative isolation, reflection and time in the studio. Coming out the other side I feel that changes have taken place that are evident from the nature of my work over this period.

The four large oil paintings are a continuation of the Notes of Discord series, covering in turn, the loss of individuality in a corporate world (The Compromise), the increasing wealth inequality of society (Social Climbers), side effects of technological development (The Engineer) and optimism versus pessimism at this point in the development of human society (The Pilgrimage).

However, each also contains more personal meanings.  For example, The Pilgrimage, as well as representing a fork in the road for humanity and a positive versus negative path, also represents my own attitude to the future and the struggle of optimism versus pessimism.

The ink and acrylic works illustrations of urban scenes are a continuation of the ‘Corporate Bodies’ series. These also indicate a change from stark images of isolation to more nuanced images of urban life.

My most recent work has taken the form of black and white pen drawings. These have started to show a preoccupation with a more subconscious, dreamlike, style incorporating elements of the local Tasmanian landscape. These may have certain political undertones, but they reflect a much more contemplative and introspective mood that has developed during this period.”
Hugh Kerr

Friday 12 – Saturday 20 March 2021
10:00am – 5:00pm daily


Image Credits: All works by Hugh Kerr.
Hugh Kerr. A softened perspective. 51cm x 76cm. Ink on paper.

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