Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
In her first Australian exhibition for over five years, internationally acclaimed Australian surrealist Chris Wake uses a series of wild dinner party settings to explore how we are all so different ... yet, all the same.

Wake's new collection “Same, Unique, Same” is on display at Gallery V in Woolloomooloo from September 5th – 30th and presents opera divas, acrobats, karaoke queens and an ensemble cast of zany guests in a variety of unexpected and sometimes bizarre dinner party settings.

Her paintings exude a kind of wild energy. The fish eye perspective, the twisted glasses and bottles and the fluid body shapes of her subjects are reminiscent of Chagall and always evoke a visceral response from the viewer.


Where art meets reality

Wake lives in the Adelaide Hills next to the Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens. The birds, flowers and eucalypt branches that occasionally appear in her paintings are drawn from her surrounds and are inserted as a subtle reminder that we must all take responsibility for leaving the planet we share in good order.

According to the artist, the eclectic cast of characters that feature in her work are also locally inspired. “In Adelaide we have an arts festival called the Fringe which is a very apt description … because the performers are on the edge of convention and their art is a considerable distance away from conservatism. The clowns, acrobats, comedians, musicians and extroverts at this festival provide me with fantastic fodder for my work … as do the singers and actors in the various operas, musicals, plays and concerts I attend”.

Sharing a meal and a glass of wine is another constant theme in Wake's paintings and reflect her love of bringing people together and cooking for them.

The art that flows from this unusual mix of inspiration is, quite intentionally, visually disturbing. Nolanesque eyes follow the viewer, or look sideways in unease or alarm. Tilted heads turn away from each other creating a sense that the characters are caught in some kind of nightmarish parallel universe. Often, there is a character in a doorway just about to walk in … but, shocked to see what is happening in the room they were about to enter, they cannot move forward.

More About The Artist

Born in 1960, Wake studied Fine Art at Adelaide Central School of Art and has been painting and exhibiting since 1976.

Amongst the many awards and accolades she has accumulated over a distinguished career, Wake remains particularly proud of her selection as a finalist in the 2008 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Covering the whole of Asia, her painting was one of 30 pieces chosen from over 1100 submissions, by an eminent judging panel that included curators from the Tate Modern and the Guggenheim museum.  At the end of the exhibition the 30 selected paintings paintings were auctioned by Sothebys with Chris Wake's piece “Dali is Not So Crazy” achieving the second highest price on the night.

"My aim is to engage, uplift, humour and comment through my work, my paintings are deliberately entertaining as I feel we all need to rest our mind from the realities of our work, politics and our concerns about the world at large."

Exhibition opens September 5th, 2013

Wake's exhibition “Same, Unique, Same” is on display at Gallery V, 41 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo; from September 5th  – 30th, 2013.

Gallery V is open Monday – Friday: 9.30 am – 5.30pm and on Saturday from 12.00pm - 3.00pm.

For further information please contact the Gallery Director, Geoff Hirsh
P: (02) 9360 2015
M: 0411 68 11 22

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Gallery V

Gallery V represents and promotes a wide variety of fine art by award-winning and emerging Australian artists via their website and Woolloomooloo Gallery.
Geoff Hirsh
P: +612 9360 2015
M: 0411 68 11 22


Australian Artist, Australian Surrealist, Australian Painter, South Australian Artist, Exhibition, Gallery V, Paintings, Woolloomooloo, Dinner Party, Wild,



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