Creative inspiration can be found almost anywhere: in the banalities of everyday life, when an emotional connection is made with a subject, and quite often, in one's travels. Artists are often inspired by their adventures, observing their natural surroundings acutely.
Two notable artists who were inspired by foreign lands are Paul Gauguin and David Hockney. Gauguin, a French post-Impressionist artist arrived in Tahiti in 1891 where he wanted "to live there in ecstasy, calm and art" and to be "free at last". Tahiti transformed Gauguin's art and it was there that he created his signature style that combined observation with mystical symbolism, often painting Tahitian women. This style was strongly influenced by the popular art seen in French Polynesia at the time.
In 1964 David Hockney arrived in Los Angeles, smitten with ‘the promised land’ and sent a postcard to his friend in England saying, “The world’s most beautiful city is here – LA… You must come.” And thus began Hockney’s LA oeuvre in pop art, painting the bright swimming pools, split-level homes, and suburban Californian landscapes that have become so iconic. Hockney has since done more than any other artist to shape LA’s visual identity.
In true intrepid Australian fashion, the artists in this selection have returned from adventures afar and serve as a romantic example of the artist as ‘wandering mystic’. These works depict dreamy, rural landscapes in Europe and Thailand, bustling street scenes in China and the US, and emotive figurative works in Japan and Africa. Woven into this mix are inspired scenes from home: a celebration of the unique native flora and fauna of Australia, and illustrations of the urban locales of Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth.
Have a look at this curation, find your own inspiration, and go on a journey to create a personal space that is exciting, tranquil and unique.