NAS Retake: Robert Owen

NAS Retake: Robert Owen

Next up for NAS Retake we have NAS alumnus Robert Owen. This week, we took a deep dive into the artist’s practice and looked at how music influences his work.

Study for Manta 6/1 (or panel #6) is from the series Music for the Eyes, which was inspired by Arvo Pärt’s work Spiegel im Spiegel and Für Alina. It runs in a sequence of mirror phrases, patterns, structures and sensations. He is interested in the ‘chromatic quality’ of music. Owen says ‘Music has played an important role in my practice; the jazz clubs in Darlinghurst in the 1950s became part of my education alongside the National Art School’.

Owen was taught at the National Art School by sculptor Lyndon Dadswell who encouraged Owen’s enthusiasm to think and feel through materials, through gravity and movement, through space, light, colour and form.

The work Feeling form (blind carving) is a work made from the period when Owen was a student at the National Art School between 1958 and 1962. “A number of these were made as ‘homework’, a Frank Lumb exercise in carving. Whittling away blindfolded with a pocket knife until a satisfactory form emerged from the hands” – Robert Owen.

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