When I started managing Thierry B's gallery over a year ago, I was stunned to learn he has over a dozen different painting styles. Most artists spend years developing a signature style that becomes their hallmark, or their visual currency. Thierry B has been an abstract painter for over 20 years and a gallery director for 15 years.
A survivor in mindset, he wears a silent badge of inner bravado devoid from ego based practice. A buddhist in essence, he proudly metamorphosises his oeuvre constantly, in keeping with his own exploratative and inquisitive nature. A small space in High St, Prahran turned a healthy business which kept re-inventing itself to surf the waves of recession that saw dozens of competitors shut their doors.
A recent building development saw the gallery swallowed up alongside local stalwart businesses to make room for a multi storey apartment block. Forced to seek potential spaces outside his comfort zone, Thierry B soon realised that change was underfoot - but with his buddhist approach, decided that each negative option was leading us that much closer to securing the right space to be. After a gruelling search, Malvern Rd in South Yarra, adjacent to the boutique Hawksburn village is our new home.
A purpose built space was fitted out from a concrete shell to reveal a living interior ready to showcase and give birth to a new echelon of Abstract paintings. Thierry B's Mindscape series was born alongside this process of rebirth of a gallery space. His paint pouring technique challenges the loss of control as the resin medium employed together with oxygenisation creates a process of 'letting go'.
A metaphor for a new chapter in the Thierry B story - the Mindscape series was initiated six months ago and are now proudly on view in the newly-lit space. Informed by Buddhist practice, the medium has it's own mindset and changes rapidly over a 24 hour period then again over a the week it takes to fully dry - revealing a myriad of shapes, colours and patterns in luscious layers. Challenging notions of control and self-expression, this techniques in direct alignment with Thierry B's experience as a painter of Abstract imagery. His detachment from the process equals flow. Self-examination and self-reassurance is required - he has it in spades.
Now working alongside Thierry as the gallery manager, I am absorbing much of the exuberant energy he emanates every second of the day. His work contains his earnest intention and is heavily rooted in the notion of living in the present. Seeing is all about feeling and bridging the connect-the-dots map on the canvas he signposts so succinctly.
With art we travel. What leads us to search out meaning for the walls of our inner harbours and our exterior retreats? What combination of space, surface and colour lead us to a feeling of extended openness, of belonging to our surroundings, of expansion of space and the glimmer of inexplicable lightness. As we travel through architectural spaces, designed places - the search for the spontaneous and the desirable, and at times the spiritual, can often be mirrored in how we choose to demarcate our ideologies of place.
Thierry B explains the art of zen; "My work is all about introducing the joy of colour into our lives, often seen here through cross-sections which challenge your spatial perception. The vibrancy of hue and curvilinear forms in repetition create a dynamic feast for the eye, where they are in constant motion. Energy maps a pathway for our eyes and hearts to meld." - July 201
If art and love are man's greatest gifts to himself, then there can be no art without love. Art is always the making of the soul, the craft of human being's touch - which can be corporeal or of the mind and the spirit. Artists are dedicated to putting love into their work, and there's great power in both the human touch and in originality.