Hailing from what the artist describes as a ‘bird part of town’, feathered friends of all shapes and sizes feature as regular subjects in Andrew Sullivan’s latest exhibition. His paintings are often inspired by their serendipitous visits to the artist’s home. Painted both dead and alive, currawongs, doves, parrots and others are pictured alongside the artist’s frequently used motifs.
Employed for their symbolic implication and aesthetic qualities, autumn leaves might signify change, skulls (painted here from plastic models) traditionally represented mortality, while butterflies suggest transformation or appear as “symbols of the soul”. In some work, tarot cards and other small pictures within the paintings add mysterious dimensions. Sullivan, a past winner of the Sir John Sulman Prize, for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project, is inclined to let his paintings speak for themselves.