Last week I visited the bright and bubbly Lara Scolari at her beautiful home. Situated in the heart of Balmain, her three story terrace over looks the harbour and boasts its own street front art gallery (lucky duck)....... Lara's family of five and two very cute Pugs called Barry and Barbie have called this place home for a little over 2 years now. All the messy fun stuff happens in a room next to the gallery on the ground level at the front of the house, where Lara paints her days away while the gallery is open to the public from Thursdays to Sundays.
I ask Lara about her incredibly successful career as a practicing artist.....
You have quite an extensive resume. Tell us about your training and experience in the art world.
I have always worked in the art world after leaving school I worked at Matisse Derivan for many years, then through work relocated to Dubbo. In Dubbo I enrolled in TAFE and over the next 10 years while working at the Western Plains Cultural Centre and Dubbo Regional Gallery I completed a certificate III in Ceramics, Cert IV and Diploma of Fine Art as well as Arts Administration. I then enrolled in a Masters of Fine Art & Design at UNSW Art & Design and consecutively was promoted to the Education Officer for Dubbo Regional Gallery. During this time, I had many group and solo exhibitions throughout Western NSW including my “Latent’ exhibition at Dubbo Regional Gallery and “Ludo” curated by the beloved Alan Sisley here at Orange Regional Gallery. After winning a proposal with an opportunity to focus on my arts making practice full time, I moved to Sydney for 6 months to complete an international artist in residence program - from this residency I had my first Sydney Solo exhibition in Dank St, Waterloo – this was a sell-out show and gave me the confidence to focus on my art making practice full time. Since then I have now completed my Masters at UNSW and have set up my own Gallery/Studio Space in the vibrant harbour side village of Balmain in Sydney.
You’ve recently moved from Dubbo to Balmain. How has the move changed your artistic direction?
My style is still very much “Lara” created in an abstract expressionist style it is gestural loose and emotive with a large focus on the colour and tonal combinations. Art making for me is sort of like mediation I really try to just let go and do not get too caught up in the outcomes – but just let the process happen and the magic will come.
Talk us through your artmaking process. What are the biggest influences on your current body of work?
My biggest influence is just to purely be myself – let go and have fun! I love playing with colour and using transparent layers of various colours to create depth and a new hue or tone. I really just let the medium do all the work and love the little surprises and hidden dioramas of interest this creates.
Name some artists that you admire and inspire you.
I am inspired by all artists, and love and admire all forms of artistic expression.
However that being said, Abstract Expressionism is my “thing” and artists such as Hoffman, Rothko, Frankenthaler ,Klein, Miro, Matisse, Pollock and Picasso as well as Australian artists such as Kovaks, Olsen, Tuckson, and Whitley are a continual inspiration.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Cool and Luxurious! This body of work was developed with some of Sydney’s leading interior designers, the works suit a space with a Modern Avant Guard Eclectic Styling!