Outsider art is officially in.
Artsider is a collection of works that have been featured in artsider, AAV’s Outsider art magazine.
What is Outsider art? The definition is, to me, a question of access. An Outsider artist, whether by choice or not, does not partake in or have access to the mainstream artistic culture. There are many reasons why access to current culture may be an issue: it may be that the artist is excluded due to barriers with communication, geographical isolation and/or lack of access to education – as such Outsider art is defined by the artist rather than the work. An Outsider artist may choose to produce a Cubist work, but a Cubist cannot decide to have an Outsider phase.
The works of Artsider were produced by the artists of the Satellite art studio and the Supported Residential Services (SRS) Studios, both run by Arts Access Victoria.
Satellite was established in 2012 as an opportunity for artists with an intellectual disability or acquired brain injury to develop their individual practice. The studio is small, and is based at the Monash Gallery of Art, a contemporary photographic gallery.
The choice of portraits for the Satellite artists was initially a functional one – a pragmatic response to a bare studio with limited supplies: as long as there were two in the room there was a head to draw. As each artist initiated their own projects and fields of interest they would return to the portrait on an almost daily basis. It is an endless subject matter and one that has been pursued by countless artists, making the freshness and unique qualities of this body work all the more startling.
Initially located solely within the artists residences, the SRS studio program has expanded to include open studios held at local community venues. The program offers opportunity for people from residential services to engage with art making in a professional studio environment with high quality materials and industry level tutelage and advice.
As with many Outsider artists, the mediums chosen by SRS Studios artists is not restricted to the traditional formats. Found images and discarded papers are just some of the intricate and diverse media used in the SRS Studio works.
– Rhian Hinkley, artsider editor