In Conversation With: Ross Potter

Choosing graphite to create his large-scale works, Ross Potter takes the everyday and immortalises it in hyper-realistic art that doesn’t miss a detail.

How would you describe what you do to someone who hasn’t seen your art?

My major focus is drawing with graphite, often creating a realistic interpretation of my subject matter. When I draw, I tend to aim for all the gritty details and characteristics and, when permitting, I will use scale to explore different ways to enhance the impact of the subject. Whether it’s a life-sized elephant at 1:1 scale or even an extremely tall drawing of a Moreton Bay Bug, I have always found great value in the challenge of creating large scale artworks.

Where are you based at the moment?

I am currently based in my home studio on Whudjuk Noongar Boodja in Fremantle. Although Perth is described as one of the most isolated cities in the world, I absolutely love it here, not only for the landscape but especially the thriving arts community. As much as I enjoy working in the comfort of my home studio, I really like to attend residencies as often as possible. I find great pleasure in getting out, working in a new space and meeting lots of new people. Also, these projects are often done in full view of the public and I can interact with the public while I work, which I enjoy.

When did you decide to take your art to the next level?

I am self-taught and have been drawing for most of my life, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I decided to turn my passion into a career. With guidance and support from my partner, I was able to establish myself as a full-time artist within a couple of years. This has been incredibly life-changing and I am so very blessed that I get to live my dream every day.

Where do you find inspiration?

The everyday simplicities and natural decay are where I draw most of my inspiration. Whether documenting roadkill, a pleasant landscape, or a portrait, I love to take inspiration from these basic interactions and use the subjects to convey stories of their journey and current state.

Are there any standout projects you’ve worked on?

Absolutely, the Bread of Bone exhibition that will tour both Holmes à Court galleries, West Perth and Vasse Felix. This project was something that I had rolling around in my head for many years and was so very thrilled when all the artists who agreed to exhibit it all came together. For this project I teamed up with fellow WA drawing artists, Erin Coates, Andy Quilty, Anna Louise Richardson and Ric Spencer to create this exhibition with the aim of showcasing drawing as a medium and highlighting issues around food security, modern diets and changing attitudes to food. The new large-scale works created for the show also featured my first application of colour, using a rare saffron ink to garnish works around a subject that can be a bit harsh to digest.

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In Conversation With: Marisa Mu

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