Art in full flight

Moreland Leader. Barry Kennedy – 2014

Image of painting used in review

Artist’s work takes off

INSPIRATION DRAWN FROM CHARACTER IN THE FLIGHT COLLECTIVE

ADAM Cusack has spared little in the flight collective, his latest series of meticulous charcoal and graphite drawings.

Many of the Oak Park artist’s distinctive and detailed works feature Mr Featherwood, a male figure with a birdcage for a head.

Ravens and crows are also prominent, their context and positioning key to the work’s narrative.

Each black-and-white piece took hours to shade and blend, including one that absorbed 70 hours, works that began only after a concept was decided upon.

“I’m applying skills I have picked up over the years and I want something that stands apart from what other artists are doing," Cusack said.

“It’s been a fruitful body of work and while there is a lot left to the interpretation of viewers, there is nothing too cerebral as to alienate people."

Having exhibited across Melbourne and Queensland for more than 25 years, Cusack turned to charcoal because he wanted a more technical medium.

“I have been more spontaneous on canvas in the past, but there is storytelling and narrative in these works (that) I wanted to depict in a particular way.“ Cusack said.

Cusack begins with rough, conceptual sketches.

Photographs are then taken from a life model. Cusack noting their stance, posture and body language, as well as creases and shades of light.

“Bringing in a model is like casting an actor - there is an aesthetic I’m trying to find to realise the finished idea.“ Cusack said.

Cusack's drawings and prints are on display at Kyneton’s Stockroom Gallery.

For more information, visit adamcusack.com

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