Art Cup Project
Artist: Andre Lipscombe
Medium: Acrylic on Cypress Pine
A visual artist based in WA whose practice is centred upon reusing discarded domestic paint that usually ends up at the tip.
We sat down with Andre to find out about the man behind the painting and the painting in front of the man.
What’s his coffee order?
Black, half topped up.
Where can you view his work?
Art Collective W, Mundaring Art Centre and the Art Collective in the city.
Why did you choose this piece of artwork for the cup?
This is an interesting example, this heart. I gave a number of works, but this one has a dramatic, simple shape. The cup only reveals a little of its form. On the website, there’s a lot of details and close-up images of the colours and textures. There are lots of colours involved, not just red. This is one of a number of pieces that were developed over about 3 years using found timber and found paint. The paint is domestic, not artist quality paint. This piece of timber has a rounded form, with three lobes on it, resembling a human heart. It was a piece of wood that was cut from a tree branch, a Cypress tree, and I picked it up off the road. I applied a range of warm pigments to the timber and over a couple of years, I slowly layered paint onto the surface and the transition of time is important for me in this process.
The texture was created by the cut, as it was a slice that had been roughly chainsawed. I did nothing to it, just started painting it and, over time, the texture changed and became softer. It had a certain energy and emotion about it and it looked more like flesh. I work with colours I get given and it just so happened I had red. And it became itself softer and less tree-like. In my mind, it’s the relationship between living things. You can pick up and hold my work. It’s not designed to be sitting on walls but rather on tabletops, floors or held. Having a painting you can pick up and hold and feel the texture of, that’s really the intimacy that paintings on walls don’t provide.
What do you enjoy about art?
I like the tactility of painting and I’m looking to slowly build up the surfaces of the work and let the circumstances of life–temperature, time, feelings – to slowly develop, the accretion of layers until the building is finished. Painting in this way reveals something that’s been hidden. Not all painting is about bringing something real into the world, it’s about trying to find something. It sounds a little tenuous and philosophical, but that’s what underlies a lot of my work. Exploring, having questions, finding problems, and sometimes finding answers.
I think it’s good not to control everything, to let things take their course and allow things to happen. I used to be a pictorial, figurative artist and painted for many years in this way, but for the last 20 years, I’ve been working differently.
What have you enjoyed about this project?
It sparks my curiosity and the cups are biodegradable but I wouldn’t normally engage with this kind of project, art on a coffee cup but it is exposure and my details are on the cup so if someone was curious they can zip over to the website.
Why is it important to support the arts?
For me, painting is all I really do well, and consistently gain a lot from. I paint to connect with the creative part of me. It opens up conversations and allows me to talk to artists with a knowledge of their processes and their decision making. Art is multifaceted, uplifting and changes the way you think and feel. It is intrinsically a part of who humans are. We make creative decisions all the time. Art helps to counteract some of the failings of mainstream Western culture. Helps us to focus on empathy, spontaneity, and instinct. These sorts of things we don’t value often. It’s important to allow the right brain thinking to have a space. Read a novel, look at paintings, go to the theatre and think about it. With the span of time, we have the ability to tap into something important.
Somewhere in that new wave of capitalism, there is a heartbeat of creativity.