Scott Marr, New Pallette

If you are entranced and delighted by marks-made-well by the human hand, don’t miss Scott Marr at the Lost Bear Gallery in Leura, NSW, Australia, the World.

The sheer commitment Scott has to his work is astounding – and makes him worth keeping an eye on if you are interested in watched the emergence of creative output. The only place Scott is going is up.

I forgot my glasses tonight, which was a serious bummer, as you will understand when you see the works. Tiny obsessive detail inside large compositions, rendered using pyrography (he burns the image into paper and wooden surfaces). Not just any pyrography however. Scott uses the burning tool like a fine etching implement making a unique media reminiscent of a common one. Think Albrecht Durer and other Northern Renaissance masters of the cross-hatch extruded through the filters of a modern mind-warp.

The subjects in the works range from animals (sheep, dingoes, birds, Tim Storrier dogs), a tea-pot (my personal favourite), a Volkswagen. I wondered if there was a connection between the subjects and Scott raved for a moment about cells in bodies and people in cars, but then said they were randomly chosen. In an art world full of ‘signs’ and ‘signifiers’ I enjoyed the random and diverse selection of subject matter very much. It felt very authentic, unpretentious and somehow interesting, like a camera on top of the artist’s head giving us a glimpse into his patterns of attention.

Each work is like a little cyborg character, some friendly, some not. Like us. Combinations of antique and modern technology, mechanical and organic, nature and culture. Also like us. The media references prehistoric burning and pigment smudging, the detail pure renaissance, the content a little bit steam-punk. Sophisticated steam-punk. Although Scott reckons Dr. Suess.

The sheer diversity of the content and works in the room left me feeling a little chaotic, like I had not had the chance to focus properly and be nurtured and fed by the work. This took away a little from the intimacy and connection I look for in a gallery experience. However if the only problem I can see is too much scope in the range of works, well, I would call this a quality problem.

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