The Fear is on display at Linton & Kay Contemporary at 123 Hay Street in Subiaco from Saturday, February 18, ’til Friday, March 2. For gallery opening hours hit up lintonandkay.com.au.
Whether we like it or not, turning 30 is a pretty big moment in most of our lives –forcing us to reflect on what we have or have not achieved, a notion which both intrigues and frustrates local artist Andy Quilty.
“When I was younger, 30 seemed like the age by which I would have made something of myself or otherwise be destined for mediocrity and possibly failure,” Quilty explains of how it felt recently reaching the big 3-0.
“I always wanted to grow up to be a successful artist. I also imagined by this time that I would have settled down, married, bought a house and maybe had a few kids. My family breeds prolifically, I have four sisters, two brothers and 11 nieces and nephews, so sometimes I feel like I might be letting the team down! I also wanted to travel and see the world. My goals weren’t all that unique or far reaching, and this is perhaps why I am now questioning many of the choices I have made.”
Though he may not be married with children, Quilty hasn’t been sitting around twiddling his thumbs for the past 30 years, travelling the globe in search of adventure while developing an intricate artistic practice utilising the humble biro pen; a technique which is on display in The Fear, Quilty’s forthcoming debut solo exhibition.
“The Fear is a slang term I was introduced to by a friend, it refers to the sense of anxiety, depression and regret felt after a big night bingeing on alcohol or drugs. This hangover is a state in which I find myself questioning the choices I’ve made both the evening before and in the wider context of my life to that point. Feelings of guilt and angst - have I been wasting the time I have been gifted on this earth? I have developed an intense fear of death in the last few years, and am now rushing to achieve some lasting impression, my art is the path to making something of myself.”
Featuring 19 pieces that were painstakingly created over six months of intense work, The Fear is a physical manifestation of Quilty’s anxiety that he hasn’t become the person he once intended himself to be.
“The work examines the anxiety and regret we all feel as a result of wanting for a better and more meaningful existence. It deals with the naivety and hopeful dreaming of our youth, the cruel reality of working life that creeps up on us, and the possibility of intense regret that may occur when we reach our end. The portraits in the show are friends of mine I have grown up with, we all shared many of the same aspirations in our youth, but now upon reaching 30 and in one case 40, most of us have found ourselves single, living in rentals and with little satisfaction in our working lives.
“I hope the viewer feels some kind of connection to the work whether that be a positive or negative response, anything but indifference. I have tried to be as honest with the work as possible, it doesn’t have to be pretty and the viewer certainly doesn’t have to like or feel good about what they see, but if it can draw their interest on some level then I will be content.”