Drawing Biennial 2015

Exhibition: 5 March – 30 April · Auction: 16 April 10am – 30 April 9pm


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David Austen

Balancing Act

Year 2015
Medium Colouring pencil on paper
Dimensions 29.6 x 21.1 cm
Bidding Open Thu 16 April, 2015 at 10:00am
Bidding Ended Wed 26 April, 2017 at 9:00pm

" I am known for the multifaceted nature of my work. It ranges from abstraction to figurative and incorporates painting, photography, film, hanging sculpture, watercolour and gouache. Each medium has its own peculiar logic and makes me behave in a certain way in its making. Making drawings with colouring pencils brings out my obsessive side. I like, in fact I have to, fill in the entire page with
coloured pencil marks until completely covered. This drawing is called Balancing Act. In it we see a naked woman with arms and legs outstretched standing on the feet of an upside down similarly exposed man. We don’t see the top of her head and his head and arms but presume he is doing a handstand; this also lends the feeling that life goes on outside the page. They are surrounded by black, a dark nocturnal world. I collect circus photographs of high wire acrobats and trapeze artists from the thirties and forties. I find these images of trust and gravity very moving; the spot lit figures against the blackness of the canvas roof often find their way into my thoughts and drawings. I was also reading at this time, Nightmare Alley, a delicious ‘Carny’ novel written in 1946 by
William Lindsay Gresham about a trickster couple on the make." 
David Austen, April 2015