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About the Artists

Jump to: James Akhurst  -  Simon Champ  -  Paulina Nikolzew  -  Ruth Sariban  -  Tim O'Loughlin

James Akhurst

InsideOut Gallery

James Akhurst profile and artwork
Artist statement

“I have painted all day yesterday and all week, I work really hard at it.”

What do you get out of doing your painting?

“Lots of satisfaction. When people like it, it makes me happy.”

What made you start doing art?

“When I was young, I used to do painting in the Commonwealth Art Awards. I was painting all sorts of things for the children’s art awards. All I can do is paint so I stick to painting you know. Heaps of training in it too. I’ve done 8 years of training. I just like to paint for the glory of God for people who love art.”

Are you self-taught or did you go to art school?

“At high school I got the basic lessons in painting and drawing composition. When I left school I did 8 years study at Seaforth at the City of Art Institute, heaps of training it held me in good stead.”

What does art making mean to you?

“Art making, I just do it for people who love art, that’s all. I am just an artist. It gives me a lot of satisfaction when I get a good job done, people like it and give me the glory of people who love art.”

Simon Champ

Cornucopia Community Arts Group

Simon Champ: profile and artwork
Artist Statement

"As an artist I am drawn to animals in my art work frequenting museums and zoos. However, over the last year I have also been exploring the ideas about the macrocosms and microcosms in nature drawing me into more abstract works.

I have lived with a mental health condition for over 40 years. I spent 10 years as one of the directors of SANE Australia. It was an honour and a challenge trying to address issues of stigma attached to mental illness.

There were times when I believed that mental illness actually sensitised me in different ways to reality in the world giving me valuable insights despite all the trials of my symptoms. 

Art has always been a vehicle back to wellbeing and a means of giving form to ideas that are hard to communicate. 

I enjoy Haiku poetry and cartoons and my drawings operate in a similar visual dynamic - at least I hope they do."

Paulina Nikolzew

InsideOut Gallery

Paulina Nikolzew: Profile and artwork
Artist statement

Paulina has been making art since 9 years of age, she began with sewing. Paulina loved to sew fashion designs both at home in in school. During her teenage years Paulina participated in an exhibition at high school, creating a painting with acrylic on canvas. This early experience helped shape and drive her passion for art making which continues today.

Paulina is mostly self-taught as an artist and has a natural eye for figuring out knitting patterns, colour combinations and creating ceramic sculptures.

Making art and having a creative outlet is important to Paulina and her day to day living, she states;

“It’s something that keeps my hopes up that I won’t get sick or pass away, it keeps me alive. When I get sick or anxious I think about my art work and it keeps me going.” 

Paulina describes how art making helps her;

“Instead of taking drugs and alcohol I get a high or a kick from a completed work, it makes me feel happy, I get a kick inside. It’s really good for detoxing yourself.”

What does art making mean to you?

“Art and painting is my life, whenever I am down and out I think about the paintings I have worked hard on and it keeps me going.”

Ruth Sariban

Cornucopia Community Arts Group

Ruth Sariban: Profile and artwork
Artist statement

"Sometimes I celebrate the multiplicity of life. The fact of many life forms inhabits a small space. Many brushstrokes making up one flower. With the view that in the future these life forms may be the seeds to inhabit the stars. Humans are but one of these life forms. As we learned from Robin Williams in ‘Dead Poet Society’, we can contribute a verse in the poetry of life. We are not the whole poem. Each species feel as though it is supreme, and this is important to its survival, but to be visual, we are each a gathering of brushstrokes, of colours dark and light, smudges, blotches, straight lines, round and round, up and down making the painting we call life.

When I was a child I would examine drops of pond water through a Childs microscope and see all kinds of amazing life forms. Later I became a pathology technician and watched worlds of human tissue through powerful electron microscopes. My brother Michael, now a musician, at 11 years old, would be watching the stars and planet rings of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto through a powerful telescope at 1am in the morning. He concentrated on the macroscopic which he eventually reduced to beautiful music. ‘The Music if the Spheres’ we are told exists. Each musical note being important. So also with art, if we can stand still for long enough our maker can stand back and look at the dots and marks and sweeps and strokes our lives have made, and say “That was a work well done.

My art tends therefore to lean towards the detailed, the tiny, the multiplicity of strokes; realism. I would love to depict the abstract and the impressionistic and when I do lean that way I feel extreme joy. But it is not my style this time around. I am an artist of the little things, the details, the everything, being included pictures, the many brushstrokes becoming one. Sometimes it works and I fly. Sometimes it is boring and I flop but all of us we keep on trying and painting and drawing and looking and feeling... and this is the path of the artist."

Tim O’Loughlin

InsideOut Gallery

Tim O'Loughlin: Profile and artwork
Artist statement

Tim is a self-taught artist who has been making art for over 25 years.  He explores colour, shape and composition in his abstract works. Art making is an integral part of Tim’s life, he is passionate, expressive and captures this in his colourful eye catching paintings.

What does art making mean to you?

“A creative expression of celebration of life, god be with you.”

Last updated on 27 October 2020