ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a splendid showcase of 40 or so contemporary painters working in the still life genre, with beautiful reproductions of a handful of their paintings to give the reader an indication of style and subject matter. Arranged in alphabetical order, there are small essays on their work, inspirations and methods, accompanied by photographic portraits of the artists. Still life is sometimes dismissed as trivial or decorative, but it is in capturing small moments of (often domestic) impermanence that can lead to thoughtful meditations on bigger themes. And personally, if the paintings are beautiful as well, I can't see anything wrong with that! From the photo-realist to the impressionistic, from the minutely detailed to the broad swathe of energetic brushstrokes, this covers a wide variety of techniques. And whilst there are many examples of the usual subjects - flowers, containers, fruit - there are also interiors, tools and remnants of meals. I've discovered some new favourites, and whilst I will never own any of the paintings, at least I can enjoy this book! Lindy
Amber Creswell Bell is a Sydney-based arts, design and lifestyle writer, and curator. With a passion for art, Amber champions emerging and unrepresented artists, curating popular exhibitions both independently and in collaboration with well-established commercial galleries. Her first book, Clay (2016), published by Thames & Hudson, showcases contemporary ceramic artisans from Australia and abroad. Her second book, A Painted Landscape (2018), profiles the diverse work of 50 of Australia's landscape painters.