At first glance, Belem Lett’s paintings appear like highly sophisticated versions of Rorschach ink blots. It’s only on closer inspection that you notice the tiny inconsistencies between the two halves, indicating the works aren’t resultant of folding the image over to create its twin. Rather, they are testament to Lett’s interest in pattern and repetition, and the fallibility of the handmade. His painstaking process of replicating by hand his gestural brushwork on both sides of the canvas is as much about inconsistencies and unpainted surfaces as it is about precision and technique. Experimental and highly decorative, the works concertina across their substrate in a playful pastiche of architectural aesthetics and gestural abstraction. Heavily referencing Baroque decoration, shamanic art and digitally duplicated imagery, they are also deeply connected to Lett’s familial connection to South America. More than an experiment in painting, the finished compositions provide a kaleidoscopic view of Lett’s world that is hallucinatory and completely mesmeric.
Belem Lett is a Sydney based artist as well as Director of Wellington St Projects. Lett graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008 and a Master of Fine Arts by research from University of New South Wales Art and Design in 2012. Lett was a recipient of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2010 and undertook a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2011. Lett has held numerous solo and group exhibitions as well as presenting his work at Fairs including Spring 1883 (Melbourne), Den Fair (Melbourne) and Sydney Contemporary (Sydney). Lett has also been a finalist in multiple prizes including: The Sunshine Coast Art Award, The Padddington Art Prize (Highly Commended), Fishers Ghost Art Award, The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize (Highly Commended), The Chippendale New World Art Prize and the NAB Emerging Artist Award. Carrie McCarthy