Becky Gibson

Becky Gibson has a thing for what she calls the borderline ugly.  A little strange perhaps, but stranger still when you learn that she’s an award-winning landscape painter, passionate florist and ardent lover of Magritte.

Warm, considered and refreshingly modest, Becky is an up-and-coming Australian artist that has the art world decidedly excited. 

To say her CV reads nicely is putting it mildly.  Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship, Winner. Macquarie Emerging Art Prize, highly commended. Plein Air Painting Prize, Finalist.  And that’s skipping over her host of solo and group shows around the country. 

After graduating from the National Art School, Becky started exploring themes of erased landscapes and memory (think construction sites, shacks, water tanks, sink holes and drains) using her oil paints and signature steady gaze.

 “There's a lot of staring involved,” Becky says.  “That's how I can tell that a piece is finished, when I have stared at it for days (or months) and there's nothing I want to move in it.”

Things took a bit of an about face after she won one of the most prestigious awards for young artists – in 2011 the Brett Whiteley travelling scholarship.

Judged by a guest artist and the head of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the $25,000 scholarship is awarded to a young artist with an established body of work, who is best able to demonstrate the use and benefit of the scholarship to further their art education in Europe.

In Becky’s case, the guest judge was revered Australian Colin Lanceley who lauded her understanding of form and colour, and the sophistication of her technique.

 “I went from making works on my balcony in Chippendale to a studio in Paris,” Becky says.  “Suddenly I had people who weren't my family and friends seeing my work.”

A residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, a stint in snowy Berlin drawing apes in the zoo, and travels throughout the US ensued.

“Houston was actually a life changing city for me as it was where I first encounered a Turrell skyspace and was slapped in the face (metaphorically speaking of course) by a particular Magritte painting in the Menil collection. Finding that collection was like finding a rose in a desert.”

And Becky is the first to admit she’s a sucker for roses.  Whilst currently the artist in residence at a private law firm in the CBD, she’s also taken the leap of pursuing one of her consuming passions: floristry.

“I'm a sucker for plants really so this was always going to happen at some point,” she says.  “I can't get over the crazy beauty of the things.”

In between her studies, helping us in Martin Place and working on her upcoming exhibition, there’s not a lot of spare time for dinner and dancing. 

“I'm just painting regardless of whether it gets seen or not,” says Becky. “It's nice when it is seen though and people can understand why I'm always saying I'm busy.”

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Check out Becky’s work at http://www.beckygibson.net/ or meet her in person at our Martin Place pop-up shop.

Follow Becky’s floristry project on Instagram: @_flowers.in.the.attic_

Image credit: Arunas photography