Melbourne born and raised, Skye Jefferys still thinks of home often. It was in Australia where she fell in love with the process and made her start as an abstract artist. Now in Singapore, Skye is inspired by her tropical environment, the colours and vibrancy of life itself. At the back of her mind though, are fond memories of the land where she grew up. I think, perhaps, her love for both countries comes through in her work, the inspiration of different cultures and surroundings intertwined and interwoven with colours and emotion. Her latest collection, now showing until the 6th of November at The Australian High Commission is a celebration of contrasts found at our doorstep.
Skye began her career as a graphic designer but it was a life-changing event in her family that pushed her towards her true calling to be an artist. While organising an exhibition, Head Case, as a fund raiser for Aquired Brain Injury (ABI), she was inspired and touched by how art could make such a difference. She had always been creative. Even in her role as a graphic designer, her work would have a painterly focus. She decided to enrol in the Victorian College of the Arts, studying a Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts and intending to complete the full three years of the Masters program. Before she could, life intervened. She made several moves. From Melbourne to Canberra to Singapore where she now lives with her family. She never stopped painting.
In my first chat with such an accomplished artist, I was struck by how a painter sees colour everywhere. Even little details like the rich purples, pinks and red of bougainvillea falling from a well worn overpass wouldn’t go unnoticed by Skye. Her abstract paintings are, in my view, beautifully lush, layered with strong colour, bold strokes and feeling. Each person who views her work could make a different interpretation. Some may see chaos, some may see peace, still others may recognise an exploration of life.
I would be content to gaze at her work for a while, just to take it in and let it be. I find them to be perfectly imperfect and I was fascinated by how she creates her paintings. Working on several canvasses at a time, her process is instinctual and emotional. Her paintings are layered. She may start in one area, move across to another painting, then returning to her first painting to add something that was missing. I asked her how she knows when a painting is done. To this, she answered: “I just know”.
I believe that talent and passion speak for themselves and Skye has already being recognised. Her first solo show was in 2013 at the Canberra Contemporary Artspace in Australia. She has also since held solo and group shows in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Her current collection “Wandering Spirits” is on show at The Australian High Commission, 25 Napier Road until the 6th of November. Gallery open hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30 to 5pm. Please bring along your IC for access into the gallery. Some of the paintings may still be available for sale. Please enquire directly with Skye at email@example.com.
Skye said the most interesting thing to me while we were speaking. We were talking about her process and how she worked. When she starts a painting, she may not know the outcome, though she deeply feels each stroke. She said:
“It’s the not knowing that keeps me going.”
You can find out more about Skye and her process by watching this interview with Mishell Leong from Milc by Mishell. It is utterly fascinating. What an honour it was for me to spend some time with the artist. Thank you, Skye!
Click this link: Interview with Skye Jefferys
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Images have been provided by Skye Jefferys unless otherwise indicated. Feature image by Angela Manners.