Approaching Graham Fransella’s studio I hear guitar riffs emanating from the former fish and chip shop which has been Graham’s creative space since 1999. The large interior holds a printmaking workshop, replete with etching tools, hot plates and associated paraphernalia, leading past a guitar and amp (where the avid guitar player unwinds) to a light filled painting studio with easels caked in paint conveying a journey of colour through Graham’s oeuvre. Graham is equally skilled with an intaglio burnisher as he is with a paintbrush, as evidenced with awards for printmaking as well as being a finalist in the Archibald, Dobell and Sulman Drawing Prizes, and winning the AGNSW Wynne Trustees Watercolour Prize five times.
Throughout his practice the figure and landscape have remained central to Graham’s explorations in mark making. Utilising strong lines, dense colour and layering, his works are at once simple and complex, intuitively created while drawing from years of experience with his chosen mediums. Each work combines abstraction and familiarity where a single line can suggest the curve of a river or the outline of a head and shoulders, leading the viewer on a voyage of discovery through each detail of the work.
“I have always had a liking for images which engage the eye and drawings that are spontaneously arrived at rather than pre-ordained. Pictures may appear simple, initially, but they reveal much more after contemplation. A good picture should be able to bear lots of looking at.” – Graham Fransella