Australian Art Review
Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum
Asian Art News
Kathleen Suraya Warden
Channelling the bleak panoramic vision of a young David Hockney, Australian artist Paul Davies’s newest series of paintings, on show this month at Sydney's Tim Olsen Gallery, are a contemporary lesson in pure aesthetics.
Taking his original spark of inspiration from an Aspen holiday magazine, Davies’s block-coloured, eerily empty paintings are a clear expression of the artist’s obsession with line and form.With a keen interest in the Bauhaus and late modernist buildings, Davies’s paintings offer a striking synthesis between artistic control and abstraction. Constructed using both stencils and free hand painting, Davies multi-disciplinary approach results in overall flat paintings with an unexpected depth.
With 1970’s low slung Miami-style buildings peering ghoulishly out from amid the Peter Doig-esque trees scattering the foreground of the canvas, Davies invokes a disconcerting sense of nostalgia.
Devoid of life, the paintings are lent a surprising warmth by Davies’s striking colour combinations – Hockney he may not be, but there is no denying that what Davies does, he does remarkably well.
Teoh van den Broeke
Right Now Art
Paul Davies’ ongoing interest in modern architecture is yet again in his new show at Tim Olsen Gallery. Working from photographs of actual houses, both here and overseas, and combining painting and stencil techniques, he creates landscapes in which the constructed and natural environments collide and interact in unexpected ways. Devoid of people, works in his latest exhibition, such as Burnt Aspens Landscape (left), have an eerie, almost dreamlike feel.
Young at Art
The Australian Magazine
Ruddy's Archibald success is proof that winning prizes can kick start careers. The same an be said for Barton, with wins in the Sulman Prize and the Blake Prize for Religious Art, and for Lovett, whose $5,000 prize in the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award for his painting Inner Metro Parking Dragon, funded a trip to Spain. But as painter Paul Davies has discovered, one can also be a star artist without prizes. Davies, 27, has 100 people on a waiting list for his urbanscapes and his next exhibition opening on March 20 at Sydney's Tim Olsen Gallery, should be a sell-out…
A plethora of skill in landscape, painting, photography, sculpture, stencils and graffiti have brought a dynamic edge to Paul Davies's images of architectural facade and interiors. With it's focus on the built enironment, his work takes a cue from the bold colours and minimal designs of 1970's modernism. The modd of British srtist David Hocknet comes through in his panoramas of modernist houses in bold colours, depicting the glamour and nostalgia of Palm Springs mansions and pools…
We love the work of Paul Daives, who is showing at the Tim Olsen Gallery from April 22. Architecture is his inspiration and his techniques of using hand-cut paper stencils adds texture to his canvases, creating a '70s modernist feel.
Arts & Entertainment
The Sydney Morning Herald
Davies is popular with buyers and his lastest exhibition of unpeopled architectural paintings - some of which feature fine, hand-cut stencil work and each of which has its own note of mystery - has sold out. Favies says he's not a frustrated acrhitect but has always been "drawn to straight lines". Apparently he likes a tidy studio too. These wonderful art works are woth a face-to-face visit; reproduction in newsprint and onscreen doesn't do them justice.
Sydney Morning Herald
June 27, 2006
In the paintings of Paul Davies, the houses are fabulous but there's no-one home.
Working mostly in acrylic, Paul Davies makes use of stencil techniques to create depth with hard-edged horizontal stripes of strong colour. The results are striking but also slightly eerie. In his series of paintings depicting the kinds of architecturally adventurous villas you associate with the Rat Pack, the houses are fabulous – jutting concrete slabs, acres of glass, shimmering pools - but there’s no-one home. It’s as though someone dropped a neutron bomb on Palm Springs.
Paul's 2005 show at blank_space in Surry Hills was the first sell-out show for that gallery and the asking price for his paintings has jumped from the high hundreds to the $1200-$5000 bracket in less than a year.
When the walls come down
Freelance work needn't be lonely - just rent a space with like-minded souls, writes Matt O'Sullivan.
Working in an office is like sharing a flat - you can find yourself sitting beside your best friend or worst enemy. If it's your worst enemy, working from home starts to look attractive.
While this move may get you away from your enemies, politicking and commuting, plus allow you greater flexibility, working from home can also be lonely.
"We are social beings and working in isolation is probably not that appealing to most of us," says Dr Courtney von Hippel, an organisational psychologist at the University of NSW.
Fortunately, there are other options for those who want to work from home - without actually working at home.
China Heights is a work space for like-minded souls in Surry Hills. Six people, including graphic designers, a jeweller and a painter, aged from their early 20s to mid-30s, share a floor in a former textile building.
It's a far cry from high-rise, air-conditioned offices. In China Heights, wooden floors, high ceilings, white concrete walls and open windows foster a bohemian atmosphere.
"It's exactly like flatting. Everyone knows what we want and we work towards the same goals. Sometimes people's space might get a bit out of order and we tell them to clean it up a bit," says Edward Woodley, 27, a graphic designer who moved in about two years ago and manages China Heights.
The tenants pay about $150 a week each for 20 square metres of space and share kitchen and bathroom facilities. Bills for items such as coffee and tea are shared and occasionally they cook lunch for each other.
The workplace is not partitioned, but everyone knows where their space ends. "It's really important to set the ground rules," Woodley says. "Sometimes people try to take over more space, but you have to workplace to set guidelines about behaviour. "When you bring different personalities into a small space there is the possibility for conflict," she says. "Laying the ground rules about money and security issues should be clearly spelt out so that fights don't occur."
Noise can often be a problem. An open-plan office is not suitable for people who are easily distracted.
When rules about issues such as noise are clear, a shared office can be a good work environment. It can cut costs and give people the chance to "bounce ideas off each other" and share lighter moments to relieve stress.
Leaving home for the office each day clearly separates work from the rest of your life, but this division is blurred when you work from home.
While leasing a workspace permanently might not always be an option, office rental companies do offer individual workstations for short periods, such as an hour a day over a month, and typically provide everything from a computer, desk and internet access to kitchen facilities.
Von Hippel says more companies are recognising office arrangements can have a big impact on employees' wellbeing - and the bottom line. In the United States, large companies are designing "mini downtowns", including main streets, in an effort to make workplaces more welcoming for their employees.
For some personality types, she says, there is no place like home.
"Although it might be cost effective [to share an office], if you are going to get irritated because you are not calling the shots, then maybe it's not such a good move for you."
In Australia, almost 1.7 million people work from home for their main job, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
Architect Philip North likes the flexibility of working from his Darlinghurst apartment. "I'm a fairly strong individual and I like having control over my own work practices," he says.
He has considered leasing office space, but it is cheaper to work from home and the internet gives him access to almost everything he needs. "Technology makes a big difference. I am perfectly happy working where I am - it's just one minute's walk from my bedroom to my desk."
North admits to sometimes missing the company of work colleagues - but not the office politics. "I have a strong network anyway. I live in the middle of the city and working from home doesn't mean you don't have any external contact at all," he says.
However, a big challenge is separating work from the rest of his life, especially when his desk is in his dining room. "[Work] is omnipresent and a lot of people who work from home will tell you it's an issue. If you work in an office there is a clean break [between work and home life]," he says.
Dr Ben Searle, an organisational psychologist at Macquarie University, advises people to designate a space at home solely for work. It's also important that others know when they shouldn't disturb you and a separate phone line may prevent ill-timed social calls.
To avoid distractions in any workplace, he recommends setting priorities and deciding not to answer the phone in the middle of important jobs.
"It's a really good opportunity when you are setting up a workplace outside a traditional environment to give thought to things like, 'What times of the day are I the most effective?"' Searle says.
Woodley reckons he's got his workplace about right. "Everyone is here to work, but at the same time we are not going to treat it like an office."