Celia Gullett

Photography by Mark Rogers

Celia Gullett (born 1959) began her art studies at East Sydney Technical College in 1979, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984. At that stage she didn’t feel sufficiently “worldly” to become an exhibiting artist. In the years to follow she experienced many things, including marriage and children, with painting remaining a constant in her life. From 1996-1999, she attended Charlie Sheard’s Studio School and in this seminal period developed the technical depths to achieve a sensitive and resonant atmospheric in her work. Her interests in colour field paintings, abstraction and surface interact with the legacy of minimalism, particularly its origins in ancient Asian philosophies and associated ideas about the process creating the artwork as an experience for the viewer.

Her work is influenced by the melodic tenor and colour of Rajasthan (in India), music, the nature of existence and poetry. She uses paint to capture the ephemeral nature of other art media (particularly music) in a more permanent form. She said, “Everything I do is centred around colour and surface. Visible depths in the paint are created by layering and reduction, to evoke a sense of diffused light, and the crystallisation of experience into paint.” The tension in this process, between the repetitive brushstroke and layering to create optical complexity, is the touchstone of Gullett’s studio practice.

She has had solo exhibitions since 2002 and participated in group exhibitions since 1996. Gullett has been a repeat finalist in Sydney’s Mosman and Paddington Art Prizes (2002-16) and exhibited in Singapore (2013), London (2017, 2018) and Sweden (2017). Her paintings are in the Macquarie University Art Collection and national and international private collections.

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