A Brush with Life

Steve Nayar


16 - 21 August 2016
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 10 am - 1 pm
Admission free



Steve Nayar’s recent series of painting explores a concept that dates back to Shakespeare, Cicero and the Bible, and in more recent studies at Orebro University in Sweden, that the eyes are the windows of the soul.
Behavioural Scientist Matt Larsson states, ‘These findings support the notion that people with different iris configurations tend to develop along different trajectories in regards to personality. Differences in the iris can be used as a biomarker that reflects differences between people.'

I wanted to extend this thought to the animal world. Without wishing to dwell on the metaphysical nuances of whether animals indeed possess souls, I simply wanted to focus on their eyes as a vehicle to portray their essential innocence. It seems to me that animals seem to be in synch with their natural order, whereas human beings appear to have lost their true purpose or act from a profound sense of confused identity. This exhibition is intended as a reminder, a mirror. The first painting, Grey Cat, began in April 2015 and most of the others were created over the course of a year. The references, both emotional and physical, were collected over a longer period of time and were an exhibition waiting to happen.

Metre square canvases unify the collection, and each aims to reflect something of the essence of the creature purely by focusing on the eyes. More recent paintings in A Brush with Life celebrate being and awareness.

Typically when we visit an exhibition of paintings we play the observer as we stroll from one image to the next. My intention was to flip this experience so that the observer now becomes the observed.