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When we started Noferin back in 2005, we always dreamed of making artwork together. The combining of ideas and imagery on the same plank of wood seemed like the perfect thing for two young artists to do. Our first art show in 2006 was a combination of ideas and an explanation of finding an inner style.
Looking back on that first body of work (above), we're struck by how graphical certain elements of the paintings were. We were ultimately, as all "world-makers" find themselves doing, striving to create a visually unique home for our characters to inhabit. We might not have known the characters all that well yet, but if we provided a nice wee world for them to live and have adventures in, then that might just lead to some personalities leaping out. At least, that was the plan. Visuals have always been much easier to come by than words. Why is that?
In 1967, American artist, Andy Warhol created three Marilyn Monroe silkscreen print portfolios, comprising ten images. For Warhol, this series was an extension of his 1962 Marilyn Diptych, a silkscreen painting that contained fifty images of the actress, half in colour, half in black and white. Warhol loved the freedom and speed that silkscreen printing provided.
"(With silkscreen) you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple, quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it."
The Camaraderie Series is an on-going series of original paintings inspired by Warhol's numerous silkscreen series. Warhol used different colours to represent different aspects of his subjects (personal, celebrity, social and commercial), shown in repetition to evoke the ubiquitous nature of their existence. We rather like that concept, as colour is such a powerful agent of emotion and intent. We're also drawn to Warhol's "factory" approach of art creation, albeit in a more hands-on way.
Putting the "factory" into hand-painted.
For this series, we still want the paintings to be very much hand-painted artworks, but done in such a way that we are not slaving away over exacting details, like we used to do. This is when emotion and intent becomes diluted, quite the opposite of what we want to do as artists. Clearly, we need to develop some methods of production. Time to experiment! Bring out the large pieces of art card. Bring out the 8B pencils. Bring out the razors, the registration marks, the ball-point pens, the spray cans, the metal screens, the acrylic paints and big bristly brushes!
Using methods inspired by screen printing, stencil art, and sign writing, we designed a system that moved us beyond application and into the realms of creation. And you know what, once we figured that out, a euphoric wave of freedom swept over us. We could paint to the beat of our music (New Order)! We could paint to the beat our hearts (90bpm and rising)! We could paint to the beat of our head (not sure where that is).
Going forward by going back.
Now that we had the freedom of creating new artworks together, we decided to revisit the art that inspired this whole thing in the first place. Funny how you sometimes have to look back to step forwards ...
Drawing on bold graphical elements of our earlier works, we've used a refined and repeated colour palette inspired by the Victorian landscape (see photos below) to emphasise the mutual trust and experiences of these two friends, Pecan and Anouk.
To be honest, Pecan and Anouk have an unusual friendship. You've got Pecan on one side. He might be our hero, but he's not exactly the most accomplished of Pecanpals. Sure he means well, and he certainly gets credit for trying, but in the thousands of years of Carrara history, he is the first not to know his Spectacular. Then you've got Anouk. Anouk is a disgraced Posteroo, the only Posteroo in Carrara you wouldn't want to handle your urgent deliveries. They're both struggling, desperate to find their place in the world, but they never let it get them down. They've got each other's backs. And this gives them strength. These rifts are represented in the repeated use of bold blocks of colour that both separates and joins them. The same block of colour that slices Anouk and anchors the paintings appears on Pecan's head as a flower, symbolising the balance of camaraderie.
Each original painting is hand-painted in acrylic on birch board and is framed in Tasmanian Oak, which is not an oak at all, rather one of three Eucalyptus species. How's that for a misnomer!
Time shifts mountains and erodes deep valleys yet the bond between friends, true friends, cannot be broken.
Authentic original painting signed and dated by Noferin 2019
Acrylic on birch wood panel.
Framed in Tasmanian Oak. Ready to hang.
340mm x 490mm | 13.5" x 19"
Featuring: Pecan and Anouk the Posteroo
See the entire Camaraderie series building up here
Photographed on our 18 acre farm in Victoria's beautiful Goldfield District, Australia.