At first glance, Belem Lett’s paintings appear like highly sophisticated versions of Rorschach ink blots. It’s only on closer inspection the 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 and Director of Wellington St Projects. Lett graduated with a BFA (hons Class1 ) in 2008 and a Master of Fine Arts by research from UNSW Art and Design in 2012. Lett is a recipient of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship (2010) and undertook a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, 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 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize (Highly Commended), Fishers Ghost art Award, NAB emerging Artist award, The Sunshine Coast art award, The Padddington Art prize (Highly Commended), The Chippendale New World Art Prize, and The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize (Highly Commended). Carrie McCarthy