Aussie artist is Full of Beans

Amanda Miller has lived in London and Grand Cayman since leaving her native Melbourne in 1989 and her experiences have informed her art.

This can be seen in her debut exhibition, which begins on Tuesday, 5 June at Full of Beans.

“I have no actual theme as it’s a collaboration of most of my work to date,” she tells Weekender.

“However, the one constant in all of my work is the exploration of colour and form and my ongoing quest for relaying how I interpret the world around me.”

The artist works in her preferred acrylic (“I don’t have the patience for oils or the discipline for watercolours,” she says) and has also included some pencil and charcoal sketches in the exhibit. She works with palette knives, which she says lend a rawness which reflects her style and subjects.

“My style is spontaneous and representational rather than realistic which is probably a slight rebellion from all the years I spent perfecting graphic drawing. The subjects I tend to favour are images from my native Australia, particularly the outback and bush, and the beautiful Caribbean where I now live.”

Amanda moved to Cayman in 2003 and she said that it had an immediate affect on her spiritually and therefore artistically.

“The intense colours of the sea, storms and flora and in particular the ruggedness of the East End, are so reflective of my native Australia. I never tire of the natural beauty and inspiration each day provides here in Cayman.

“Reflecting momentarily on Australia, Aboriginal culture and art provided much inspiration for me growing up. The subject of Aboriginal art is huge but I very much relate to how the tribes were connected with their local landscape as almost an externalisation of their inner world. I’m not saying I have my own Dreamtime going on, but I am very spiritual and am inspired and moved by my surroundings. I really enjoy the aesthetic simplicity and complex stories behind each piece of Aboriginal art,” she says.

Re-imagning composition

One of her favourite Australian artists is Fred Williams, who she notes looked to the approach taken by aboriginal artists when he was re-imagining compositional space in his landscapes.

“He took away the relationship between foreground and background so landscapes ran either completely parallel to the picture plane, or, a horizontal line would be the only indicator of horizontal recession.

“It’s in this basic breakdown that aesthetic simplicity of landscapes, seascapes and general images come to life for me. I don’t get hung up or lost on small details, instead I let the image, colours and emotions they invoke in me guide me until the painting feels right,” says Amanda.

The artist says that painting is completely meditative and spiritual.

“Whilst people may not see this, they can expect to see how I interpret the world around me – and colour, lots of colour. My desire is to continue learning, growing and developing as an artist and possibly pursue it full time. I absolutely love when other people get enjoyment, or are moved in some way, by my work, when they spot the small, subtle and sometimes quirky details. It’s very cool and rewarding.

“For me June is going to be very exciting because of the exhibition and as for the rest of 2012 it will be a true journey of growing and being inspired as I’m having my third child in August. Life is a blessing.”

Amanda Miller’s exhibition opens on Tuesday, 5 June at Full of Beans with a special reception from 5.30 to 7.30pm which is open to all.