Will French is an Australian artist working in Sydney’s Inner West. His work bounces between ephemera, objects, images and text, favoring lines of enquiry over any particular medium. Within these varied expressions, familiar conceptual traits include visual appropriation, wry humor, universal questions and internal dialogue, with a strong lean towards the poetic.
French’s work exhibits sensitivity to objects and ideas, using visual wordplay to subtlety flip or twist a reading. The viewer is prompted to delve beyond surface impressions to reveal the work’s nuances or truths. These works ultimately seek resonance, through personal encounters, to openly engage with grand themes such as loss, love, meaning, mortality, time and happiness. Handled with lightness and wit, French encourages us to take a step back at times, and a step forward at others, to help (in Nauman-esqe fashion) reveal some type of ‘mystic truth’.
An accomplished fabricator and technician, the seeming simplicity of French’s works often belies the technical complexity of their production. Objects often conceal the processes undertaken to mimic or construct them to near perfection. Distilling the work to its essentials, in form and function, French seeks to clarify an idea, eliciting resonance through empathy. His painstaking approach to process gives new, physical irony to the idea of a very labored joke.
Will French completed a Masters in Visual Arts at the University of Sydney in 2005. He has exhibited in artist run spaces, commercial galleries and major institutions across Australia. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including COFA Prize recipient of the Paddington Art Prize, Australia Council New Work Grants, Maddocks Emerging Artist Prize, Emerging Recipient of the SCEGS Redlands Wespac Art Prize and the 2008 Recipient of Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship. He has worked for periods in mentorship with Simon Starling and undertaken residencies in Paris, Berlin, Sweden, Tokyo and New York, Mexico City and Sydney. He is currently completing a series of commissions in Sydney and teaching at the University of Wollongong. He is also the founder and Director of Good |Grief, an artist residency and exhibition space which opened in February 2017.
To keep updated: