"Dawn Song" - Paintings by Steven Royster at Canopy Art Centre, Cairns

by Paloma Ramos
(Cairns, Qld)

"Dawn Song" is an exhibition of finely crafted paintings by respected Cairns-based artist Steve Royster.

In his exhibition artist's statement Steve Royster speaks of his work: "Have you ever watched a darting flock of birds respond as one united mind, one unit responding without thought? Or listened to their song at the break of dawn? By giving up self-identification, they find harmony in their unity. They represent trust in instinct and live with all the abundance necessary for a joyful life. For over 30 years, I’ve been working with the symbols of crosses and birds - a communion of a sort between heaven and earth, spirit and form. When viewing the art, I would like people to sense the peace, calm and happiness which are evoked both by watching birds and by spiritual faith."

Steven Mark Royster’s life, and consequently his art, is largely devoted to the search for a sense of integration and belonging. He was raised in India and Africa, and the cultural and religious influences of these ancient cultures had a profound impact on him. On returning to his native midwest USA, the paradox of his grandparents’ non-questioning Christian faith and his parents’ open spiritual search added a layer of complexity and conflict to Royster’s identity. Perhaps it is fitting that he chose the fine arts as a means to pursue spiritual answers.

Steven Royster earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984 from Miami University in Ohio and a Masters in 1988 from Indiana University. Since visiting India over 20 years ago, Royster’s visual intention has been to demonstrate the interdependence of man and nature and the impermanence of all form.

Both the process of its creation and the content of his work address concepts of change/transformation. The way in which Royster builds, buries and obscures imagery serves as a metaphor for the overlay of human experience. Fragments of images flicker through, alluding to submerged layers of experience. The initial reading suggests the complex interplay of time.

These evocative paintings can be viewed until 3rd May at Canopy Art Centre, 124 Grafton St, Cairns

Open Tues-Sat 10am-5pm or by appointment at other times
Ph 40414678 / (0412)408668
email: infoATcanopyartcentre.com

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