Central Victoria’s dry landscape is a long way from the gentle interiors and domestic settings of Aimé Sacrez’s exhibition.
As Sacrez says, The Capital theatre foyer is an apt place to hang his paintings which are redolent with European light and a certain quietude that is peculiar to Victorian interiors.
Sacrez’s father was a French immigrant and his son grew up in a house which was furnished in a European manner.
“We only spoke French at home and I guess Europe just got into my blood,” he said.
When Sacrez (right) was 17 he left Australia and led a peripatetic existence travelling though Europe and Japan where he studied classical sculpture, drawing and painting.
He trained at the Florence Academy of Art studying the traditional methods and materials used by the old masters. The stillness and dignity of Sacrez’s subjects, which are always people he knows, is suggestive of the art of Vermeer who has been a strong influence.
The rooms in his paintings have windows with views and mirrors. The views, he says, are similar to what he sees through the windows of his old Victorian home in White Hills which he has recently finished renovating.
“My paintings aren’t like a lot of modern art which is challenging and confronting; rather they tell a story, or parts of a story,” he said.
“They invite you to meditate on the lives of the subjects and draw on the objects in the rooms to tell the story. But I always leave spaces for people to fill in. Nothing is too obvious.”
That Sacrez is committed to the life around him is reflected in the painting of his wife and child. Bloom of Youth features his beautiful Japanese wife Yuko Sacrez and their 10-month-old child.
“I’m enjoying my family very much and I’m looking forward to doing more portraits of them,” he said.
But Sacrez also has a mischievous element in his paintings.
The largest painting in this exhibition, entitled Self Portrait has been hanging in the main entrance of The Capital since the last time he exhibited there.
Central to the painting is a monkey holding a mask of Sacrez’s face. It’s bold and funny and uncharacteristically confronting.
- Room With A View: Original Drawings and Paintings by Aime Sacrez is at The Capital theatre until September 28.