Peter Miller | Symbolic Portraiture
The Kingfisher and the Warrior is a portrait rich in symbolism and broader themes. A young woman holds a gaze with a kingfisher, a symbol in greek mythology of peace and prosperity. Her hand acts as a scale holding the bird in equilibrium with her, should she move her arm the bird will fly away. This dynamic of power reminds us that the harmony between humans and the natural world is very fragile. More often than not, the balance of power favours humans, and the results are the antithesis of the serenity that can be found in this image.
The origin of Millers work lies in the Dutch Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th century. The painters of the Vanitas genre used strong iconic symbolism within their paintings to refer to the transient nature of life and mankind's mortality.
Typical of Miller’s work the background of this painting offers a neutral spatial element. This is used to create a sense of disquiet, of an altered reality.
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Mark Rutledge | In the Zone
Mark Rutledge is one of New Zealand’s leading Hyperrealists. This Auckland based artist takes to the canvas to depict his heroes, the people who inspire him. As a self-proclaimed rocker, it is often his musical heroes that he chooses to immortalise in paint.
Here we see a depiction of Michael Prain, the drummer for alt-rock trio Die! Die! Die! This New Zealand band is known for songs that are abrasive yet catchy, fast and loud and often accompanied by intense performances that leave punters with an intense, euphoric feeling post show. Playing for over 13 years they never rest, this band truly lives the rock n roll lifestyle -touring extensively worldwide and carving out a niche for their sound. This commitment to their vision and fans is what inspired Mark Rutledge to paint them.
Rutledge isolates the drummer from the rest of the band, situating the figure in a compelling shallow space. The pose conveys the absorbing experience of being in-the-zone.
View more artwork by Mark Rutledge here