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Faye Wilson - A Life on the Line

Rex-Livingston Projects in Katoomba St showcases a retrospective exhibition - presented as limited edition prints of the brush and ink illustrations from the portfolio of Faye Wilson in mid-May. Wilson, an Illustrator and artist produced award winning work for clients such as SMH, Vogue, Woman’s Day, Mambo, CBS records, Weiss and many others.

Faye moved to Sydney from Perth in 1981 with a degree in graphic design and fine arts, majoring in painting. Since childhood, the marriage of text and image was her main influence…

“My family went to the library not to galleries. I was exposed to art through books and multi skilled artist, illustrator, scientist Edward Lear was my earliest and lifelong influence. Calligraphic brush line drawing/painting is essentially a mixture of drawing and painting and it is very exacting. I don’t work with preliminary sketches or pencils, I have to distil and deliver through the line, the essence of the subject that has been internalised. 

It is a unified physical and sensual response and it is not a thought-out thing. So, as an illustration style it was not easy to turn on or off the client brief. Other styles can be a bit more constructed, but working with the brush direct is a mysterious process and one related to the martial arts idea of “no mind”. You have turn your mind off and you have to be very centered in the body to deliver the essence of the form with confidence. If you are drawing out something - in a sense you have to become that thing in order to express it.”

Between 1980 and 1990 she produced the distinctive illustrations for Weiss which were the subject of a protracted copyright case that Faye fought and won relating to their misuse in The Federal Court (Wilson v Weiss) The case is now a benchmark in the area of intellectual property in Australian legal history and is studied by legal students. Faye returned to painting and writing and closed the paper draws on her illustration career after this eight year struggle that left her exhausted… 

It is only now that I feel the time is right to bring this body of work out of the paper drawers and let people see what I produced during those years. When I created these works they were essentially created to be reproduced in magazines or newspapers or for my portfolio and many of them have never been seen.” 

The exhibition is on view from 19 to 29 May, coinciding with the BLUME Illustrators festival in Katoomba. The official opening is Saturday 20 May from 2/4pm for Faye's exhibition. 


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Faye Wilson, A Life on the Line, A survey of Illustration

Opening drinks: Saturday 20 May 2/4pm  

On view 19 to 29 May 2017 - in our Katoomba St Project space gallery