Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

ARTIST Stormie Mills never meant to keep lo­cal fans of his work in sus­pense over the three years since his last Perth ex­hi­bi­tion.

How­ever, the Green­hill Gal­leries de­ci­sion to close its Clare­mont space to op­er­ate solely on­line was a game changer and meant Mills lost his Perth gallery rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

He has since trav­elled ex­ten­sively for shows in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, LA, Mi­ami and the UK, with projects in New York and LA, be­fore of­fi­cially open­ing mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary cre­ative space There Is in North­bridge last month with wife Melissa Lekias.

There Is will present Things That Go Bump In the Night, an ex­hi­bi­tion of orig­i­nal works by Mills in­spired by Hal­loween, open­ing on Oc­to­ber 30.

“I’d sort of no­ticed there’s been this growth of Hal­loween in Perth over the last few years,” Mills said.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s been there for a long time but it seems to have gath­ered mo­men­tum; there’s a re­ally good syn­ergy be­tween a lot of the char­ac­ters I paint and Hal­loween.”

Mills said while he painted the works, us­ing new tech­niques to chal­lenge his artis­tic prac­tice, he contemplated our ten­dency to read­ily adopt other cul­tures and other peo­ple’s im­agery and iconog­ra­phy with­out nec­es­sar­ily un­der­stand­ing them or their cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance.

“It be­comes this twisted ver­sion of it­self in some re­spects,” he said.

“I guess it has strong par­al­lels with my work; be­ing a kid see­ing graf­fiti on tele­vi­sion and in movies with no one to teach me what it meant.

“When I went to New York in the mid ‘80s I saw graf­fiti on trains, met graf­fiti writ­ers who did it and came away re­al­is­ing what I thought it was about was to­tally dif­fer­ent.”

Mills said his lat­est can­vases were cov­ered with some as­pects of fa­mil­iar­ity while other works were quite dif­fer­ent in method­ol­ogy.

“There’s a piece in there called Col­lec­tive Mo­ments which I re­ally like as a work it­self but there’s a lot more text in it than most peo­ple would have seen me do,” he said.

“And some of the por­trai­ture is more re­al­is­tic than I’ve done.”

De­spite, th­ese changes, the dark­ness is still there.

“I’ve worked in many dif­fer­ent jobs and in some of those po­si­tions I’ve seen a lot of the darker side of life,” he said.

“I guess I’m look­ing for some kind of un­der­stand­ing as to why all this s*** hap­pens. And look­ing for the up­side and where we get our sense of spirit from; why do we keep go­ing when every­thing tells us to lie down and give up? I’m look­ing for that un­der­stand­ing, that sense of hope.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d445288

Stormie Mills with a piece that fea­tures in his Things That Go Bump In the Night ex­hi­bi­tion. THE ES­SEN­TIALS WHAT: Things That Go Bump In the Night

WHERE: There Is - 49 Stu­art Street, North­bridge

WHEN: Oc­to­ber 30 to Novem­ber 8

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