Community News

Iluka Emporium – September Feature Artist

Matt Baker is the feature artist for September at Iluka Emporium. Matt’s exhibition is titled “A Mixed Bag”. He will be hosting an exhibition opening night to enjoy conversations, wine, nibbles and art. There will be original works of art available for purchase to the discerning art enthusiast, as well as a selection of art prints, ranging in style from realism, impressionism through to semi abstraction. Please come along and meet the artist at the Iluka Emporium on Saturday September 7 from 6.30pm.

Matt Baker is an artist, illustrator and teacher who moved with his family to the Clarence Valley region in 2018. He began his career in 2001 working in traditional 2D animation at DisneyToon Studios in Sydney, where he worked until the studio’s closure in 2006. From that time onwards he has been freelancing as an illustrator, and in recent years has begun to more seriously explore traditional forms of drawing and painting. Although sometimes it may be difficult to see an overarching theme in his work, Matt’s aim and focus in his art is to explore the mystery, struggle and beauty of existence and creation using his favourite mediums of either charcoals, pastels, inks or oils, and occasionally utilising other mediums, both traditional and digital.

The renowned French Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir once said, ‘There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them,’ and Matt adopts this simple philosophy for the aesthetic choices that he makes in his artworks. His subject matter ranges from detailed realistic portraits to colourful abstractions and more carefree impressionistic landscapes, always guided by the aim to ignite positive emotional and thoughtful responses within the viewer. His artwork ‘The Gloriously Wounded’, a charcoal portrait exploring the victory of faith and hope over hardships, won both the Portraiture and People’s Choice sections in the 2017 Newcastle Art Prize.

Deby Cann