Contact

Tel: +61 (0) 403 200 242        Email: april.mountfort@gmail.com

11/51 Elizabeth Bay Rd, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia (by appointment)

Exhibitions

Painting:

25 July – 6 August 2017 – Solo exhibition of ‘Horses: Fishes’ and work from ‘Me & You’ at  ARO Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

Photography:

May 2011 – Joint exhibition of Landscape work  at Sara Roney Gallery, Paddington, Sydney, Australia.

July 2009 – Photography Expo, exhibiting ‘St Anna’ work at Sara Roney Gallery, Paddington, Sydney, Australia.

August 2007 – Solo exhibition at Blank Space Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia.

About:

Painting:

Horses: Fishes: 

Starting with my fish paintings: if you’re familiar with Elizabeth Bay you may also be familiar with McElhone Park which has a beautiful fish pond usually full of large colourful Koi. There’s something quite magical about this pond and its large fish, which was so inspirational and cried out to be expressed with vibrant colours and movement. Although it may be that I just love colour and can’t resist the use of vibrant colours.

No sooner had I started to paint these fish than my daughter sent me a message one day telling me the fish had been stolen, something quite unbelievable that I initially thought it was a joke. Sadly my next visit to the fishpond confirmed every single fish had been removed, stolen. Apparently these fish are valuable in monetary terms, but apart from their monetary value their theft represented much more than that. It was as if joy and pleasure had been stolen from this small landscape, plus I felt the joy of swimming around in this pond had likely been taken away from the fish. This led me to reflect this theft in some of my works such as “Stolen Landscape” and “Stolen Fish”. I’m happy to say that the fish have since been replaced although when I now visit I check to ensure there are still numerous fish there and the fish pond seems to have a lingering fragility about it because of this incident. And I do wonder about the lost, stolen fish.

It was the vibrancy and colour of my fish paintings that then led me to venture onto horse themed paintings, looking to express something more carefree than reality. Looking to express an emotion of “something else”, I don’t want to use descriptions of “dream like” or “another world”, to me it is just “something else”, possibly freedom. The freedom of the horses enjoying themselves unfettered in their own landscape, or the joy and freedom of the girl running wild with the horses.

As I am self-taught, at times I felt doubt about the legitimacy of painting imaginary landscapes in unrealistic colours – should I be looking to paint something more realistic? However I took license and inspiration from such well known painters as Kandinsky with his many fabulous horse paintings. I also took inspiration from a contemporary Japanese painter, Maki Na Kamura.

Me & You:

This work is much more personal and maybe open to a wider range of interpretation, which is fine. This concept came into mind suddenly as I was walking around in Paris in May 2016 – sounds romantic! Possibly inspired by galleries I had been visiting, or friends I would be seeing, I suddenly had this thought: “if I could fly would you come with me”.

This has developed into thoughts and expressions about relationships:

  • Relationships I might like to have;
  • Wishful thinking;
  • Being one person;
  • What are you like?
  • Where are you?
  • What would it take for you to want to be in a relationship with me? If I could do something magical like flying, would that be enough?
  • Could we fly away together, away from reality? (again a similar theme to my horses);
  • Who am I, who are you?

Developing this theme further: the impact of relationships – no matter how close we are in a relationship, we are always a distance apart, we remain one person. We unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, hurt those closest to us. We carry baggage. This is what I’ve attempted to express in my works “12 paces, the distance between us”. It’s not about violence, but more about emotional dueling and the exhaustion it brings and the closeness or distance it creates.

Perhaps I should thank the people who have been in mind as I’ve created this work; you don’t know who you are!

I want to acknowledge some current artists who have inspired me and, again, from whom I’ve taken some artistic license and freedom. They are Miriam Cahn, a fabulous Swiss painter who I discovered in Paris at Pompidou Centre. Also Marlene Dumas from South Africa and Georg Baselitz, a German painter.

Photography:

My photography work is experimental, drawing inspiration from painters as much as photographers, with my early work and experimentation being inspired by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. A painter of early influence is Marcel Duchamp.

I studied photography at Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, from 2002 – 2006 and have also participated in a number of workshops conducted by Toscana Photography Workshops and 1000 Words.

Syracuse: Archimedes’ Mirrors: Archimedes’ Mirrors is inspired by the legend of Archimedes defeating the Greek invasion of Syracuse Sicily, by using mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays on the Greek’s timber boats setting them alight. My images are intended to show the strength of the mirror, not only does it reflect it also takes aspects of the landscape and makes them stronger. Other times it shows something you may not have otherwise seen or blinds you from seeing.These works are comprised of images taken in Syracuse in 2016.

Images are 900 x 670mm digital prints, face mounted on glass.

Light Leaving Trees In Winter: One late winter afternoon in Paris 2010, I saw stark leafless trees so devoid of light they were almost without colour. It then took me another 2 years before I developed this theme.

Imagine the playful winter romance between light and trees, light dancing on tree limbs full of aroma. Naked trees in silver winter light. Then lingering sadness each day as light must leave the trees, the reluctance of departure clinging to the quickly cooling limbs. Light has to leave as night falls, trees not knowing whether light will return the next day with no memory of what has gone before or knowledge of what lies ahead. Light farewells the trees, kisses them goodbye and goes elsewhere to play taking memory with it. The translucent farewell of a lover’s kiss. Playfulness is in the moment.

I have intangible childhood memories of playing under old fruit trees in sunny orchards, long grass, running under branches in leaf filtered sunlight. I can’t hold those memories, I can’t bring back to life those childhood times. But they remain in a translucent form, sometimes fleeting by like a gentle lost kiss.

Each image in this series is a composite of multiple tree photographs and earlier shots of old concrete walls taken around 2003 which I’ve digitally painted.

An edition of 5. Images #1 – 8 & 10 – 16 are 900 x 600 mm plus a 100 mm border and image #9 is 1000 x 1000 mm plus a 100 mm border.

Fez: Hidden: Women are unseen, hidden from many aspects of life globally for religious, cultural or social reasons; men dominate public life. This series taken in Fez, Morocco in 2010, portrays this exclusion.

An edition of 5, giclee printing on cotton rag paper with a white border around the image to allow for framing. All images other than “Laundry”, “Door to Roof” and “Doorway” are 750 x 500 mm plus a 100 mm border (950 x 700 mm). “Laundry”, “Door to Roof” and “Doorway” are 500 x 335 mm plus a 100 mm border (700 x 535).

Port Botany 2010: Port Botany is an industrial cargo port in Sydney, close to Sydney airport. When I photographed this site in early 2010 there were huge concrete structures of alien appearance rising up out of the harbour. Their function was not apparent and they have now been removed. Maybe they had a temporary support function in a land reclaimation process otherwise their appearance was incomprehensible, inexplicable, mystical.

Printed giclee on cotton rag paper with a white border around the image to allow for framing. Medium print (edition of 10) image size 500 x 335 mm or 600 x 300 mm (see image ratio), print size 700 x 540 mm or 800 x 500 mm. Large print (edition of 5) image size 750 x 500 mm or 800 x 400 mm (see image ratio), print size 950 x 700 mm or 1000 x 600 mm.

Transylvania: Faded House: I visited a number of small villages in Transylvania in May 2009 and January / February 2010 where I was struck by two aspects of the region. The first was the people, particularly the Roma (gypsies), their houses, living conditions and environment. The other was the wealth of old religious art inside imposing and impressive churches, most having seen significantly better days thus adding to the appeal. My work blends together multiple images of people, religious art, icons and the environment. I wanted to juxtapose religious icons with the people questioning the relevance of religion and what it does for people on an every day basis.

I also created a short video form my visit in February 2010 incorporating some of the images from this series: see YouTube – ‘Transylvania – Faded House’.

Printed giclee on cotton rag paper with a white border around the image to allow for framing. Medium print (edition of 5) image size 500 x 335 mm, print size 700 x 540 mm. Large print (edition of 5) image size 750 x 500 cm, print size 950 x 700 mm.

Tuscany: St Anna: This work is created from composite images taken at the beautiful 15th century monastery Sant’Anna in Camprena, Tuscany in 2008. Inspired by the age of the monastery, the lives and events that must have existed and occurred over the centuries, I wanted to portray a sense of something which has happened but is now lost. I also wanted to suggest that although events may be lost, an intangible essence has been left behind and remains within the monastery.

Printed giclee on cotton rag paper with a white border around the image to allow for framing. Medium print (edition of 5) image size 750 x 500 mm, print size 950 x 700 mm. Large print (edition of 5) image size 1350 x 900 mm, print size 1550 x 1100 mm.

Landscape: I am simply trying to convey an intangible impression of a watercolour landscape with this work which I commenced in January 2010.

Printed on textured fine art paper with a white border around the image to allow for framing. Medium print (edition of 5) image size 500 x 335 mm or 600 x 300 mm (see image ratio), print size 700 x 540 mm or 800 x 500 mm. Large print (edition of 5) image size 750 x 500 mm or 800 x 400 mm (see image ratio), print size 950 x 700 mm or 1000 x 600 mm.

Urban: Set in a numerous urban locations, these works were created from 2004 onwards using a variety of means to suggest impermanence, the ethereal and fleeting nature of life. Rather than immortalise the moment as much photgraphy does, many of these works seek to express the mortality of the moment. My methods include multiple exposure with a hand held camera, slow film with a slow shutter speed in low light, and the blending of multiple images.

These works are various sizes (up to 1650 mm largest dimension) and some comprise a number of parts. They are printed on differing artist quality papers and presented on mediums including directly mounted on diasec (similar to perspex), mounted on a backing board or traditional framing. Each has an edition of 10.

Prints: All works come with a signed certificate of authenticity, pricing and further finishing details provided on request.