Andrew Sullivan is one of the original residents in the now famous Lennox Street Studios in Newtown, alongside artists like Tim Johnson. He has used the same studio since graduating from the National Art School in the early 1990s and his work reflects an extraordinarily patient, understated and meticulous craftsmanship.
Andrew's large scale, highly refined paintings take years to complete. The result is, of course, idiosyncratic, and demand time to unpick the complex allegories and narratives he weaves together. God, as they say, is in the details! The jewel-like surface of saturated colours, of even and precise detail, and carefully described movements of light are delightful, as are the flashes of humour. You need to be up-close to a painting like Self Reflected in Eye of Beast for quite some time before you finally find a minute self-portrait of Andrew at work in the pupil of this melancholy, oddly embracable, dinosaur.
His most recent work is part of a series called Survey into the Cretaceous, in which Andrew takes on the fantastic role of a naturalist with a time machine. He presents freshly killed specimens of long dead dinosaurs, painted in the language of Victorian scientific illustrations, Dutch still life and cabinets of curiosity. This is a commentary on the wonders of science and discovery, of the complex and contradictory histories that shape our contemporary culture of dinosaurs, and of the once initiate relationship between Art and Science in their shared journey into the imagination.
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Survey into the Cretaceous
"This painting is part of a larger body of work titled Survey into the Cretaceous, which involves research into our consciousness and its relation to evolution.
A journey 68 million years into the past to collect specimens to paint in my studio can be possible if my imagination and ability as a painter allow it. This is a very deliberate act of consciousness; consciousness being a product of evolution."
Andrew Sullivan, 2014