Since their beginnings, our friends at Backwoods have always fostered local and young artists. As they move into the future, Backwoods Forewoods aims to stay true to this ethos, fostering relationships with the next generation of up and coming Australian artists. Through this program, Backwoods Forewoods will spotlight young and local talent through a series of weekend exhibitions designed to support and promote our favourite emerging artists.
Backwoods are pleased to launch the program with their long time friend of the gallery, Adam Kinninmont, and his collection titled ‘Utopia.’
Adam Kinninmont, formerly known as Swerfk, is a Melbourne-based graphic artist. In his earliest memory of drawing, he is a four year old, pausing a Disney cartoon in order to trace over the character on the screen. This childhood exposure to TV animation and comic books, and later the skate and graffiti scene of his youth, has all played a role in the development of his artistic vision and unique graphic style. Since completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Printmaking and Drawing at the ANU in Canberra, Kinninmont has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally. His focus has recently shifted from graffiti to fine art graphic work. ‘Utopia’ is his first exhibition under his real name.
Kinninmont’s latest series claims its title somewhat ironically. In this body of work, the Western mirage of a sublime suburban existence is dissolved, and seen to be degraded, used, worn down over time by the grind and grit of everyday life. These street moments are composed from his own observation and exploration of Melbourne suburbia, in particular the older industrial suburbs of Collingwood and Brunswick. They are inspired by his interest in art deco and European style architecture, and of the tradition of architectural design illustration, which provides the backdrop for the ephemeral graffiti conversation irrepressibly expressed onto the scene. With inspiration drawn from the late Howard Arkley’s bright, highly stylised Melbourne suburbia paintings, Kinninmont’s illustrations have an added element of unease and mischievousness, a nod to the lively street culture here. Characterised by a bold 80s colour palette, his energetic, gestural style is balanced with technically executed detail and stylised abstraction. The presence of people is noticeably missing from each scene, leaving the natural and designed elements to be admired. However, this is no House & Garden magazine dream: you can see the cracks. – Helani Laisk