Artist Joshua Andree
by Stephanie Williams
Painting dramatic scenes of oceanic landscapes and sky, Joshua Andree opens up his new exhibition titled Water in the Sky, showcasing the intense wildness of the South East in stunning oil paintings.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? In Granton. I now live in Glenorchy with a view of the Derwent and kunanyi/Mt Wellington, which makes me feel at home.
Tell us a little about your work? I’m a landscape painter, mostly looking at the coastal and oceanic surrounds of the Island. I embrace the abstract qualities of time and space that act upon the landscape and focus on the atmospheric qualities that link sky, land and sea.
What do you love doing outside work? My partner and I have just had a little girl, so spending time with her. Also bush walking and mountain biking. That helps me view the landscape in new and interesting ways.
Your new exhibition has just opened. Can you tell us what the exhibition focuses on? This exhibition is called Water in the Sky. It focuses on the intense wildness of the South East: the waterways and vicious oceans that lash our coast line.
What role has Tasmania and Hobart played in the development of your art practice? I do what I do because I grew up in this place. Tasmanian Gothic plays a role too. Our island has a dark and emotionally charged past and I try and convey this through brooding skies and angry seas.
When you’re creating, what does a typical day look like? It’s important to have structure as an artist, because the creative process is such an unstructured thing. So I do like to have a routine. I ride my bike to my Sandy Bay studio and that kicks me into gear. At the studio, I have a quick coffee and then stretch or prime a canvas, clean brushes or scrape back my palette. These jobs don’t require much thinking but get my hands busy. Then I’ll paint until around four or five before heading home.
Who do you admire? The late Tasmanian Landscape painter Geoff Dyer. I was lucky to spend time with Geoff in his studio throughout my time at art school and later as a practicing artist. He was always super generous with his time and knowledge. More generally, I admire people who take the risk of committing to a life as an artist. It can be very isolating and lonely.
Favourite podcast or tv show? I’m neither a podcast listener or a big TV watcher. I normally have ABC local radio on in the studio during, so Conversations with Richard Fidler would be as close as I get.
Secret vice? Justified by Justin Timberlake really gets me going!
What are you reading now? I find that reading other peoples’ creative vision of the world somehow dilutes mine, particularly in times of intense making. However, I’m always scanning monographs or exhibition catalogues. At the moment I’m big on the major monograph of Arthur Streeton. Amazing collection of an amazing painter.
What gets your goat? The constant questioning of “when will you get a real job?”. It’s tough convincing people close to you that a career as an artist is a good idea. I treat my practice as a job and it riles me up when others don’t view me as someone who works hard.
What was your first job? I was lucky to work as a youth mentor within a mental health organisation after I left school. I travelled the country reaching out to young people.
What are your daily news/social media habits? I read the paper every day and watch the ABC news in the morning. My Instagram feed is filled with updates from artists and galleries and videos of people mountain biking!
Your favourite place (in Hobart) for…
Breakfast: Rosie in My Midnight Dreams (Margaritas are breakfast food right?)
Lunch: Dunalley Fish Market (even though it’s a bit of a drive)
Favourite team? 50a Queen! (my studio and the crew that inhabit it).
Favourite Hobart secret? Hobart is filled with highly talented creatives and the spaces where they make their work are so inspiring. I like visiting their studios or workshops. Generally artists are willing to share what happens behind the scenes and there is a lot that can be learned from that. It’s a great way to get a different perspective on Hobart’s creative scene.
Parting words? My new show opens on 5 July at Colville Gallery. Please go along! My studio, 50a Queen is open for visitors. You can find us on Instagram @50a_queen.
Joshua Andree’s exhibition Water in the Sky runs from 5 July to 25 July at Colville Gallery, 15 Castray Esplanade, Hobart. For more information, contact Gallery Director Trudi Curtis on (03) 6224 4088 or or at www.colvillegallery.com.au.