Kade Valja: Soul Ties
This exhibition explores and documents Kade's spiritual lessons and life experiences from a human standpoint.
'I have approached creating the work for this exhibition in a very different way to any of my previous shows, by exploring and delving into the life experiences that touch humans on a deeper level than physicality and flesh, namely the soul.
This exhibition displays an upward exploration through my own psyche that reveals the truest experiences from my life as 'Kade' so far. I believe these experiences have taught me lessons that will stay with me once I depart my physical human vessel.
Call it what you will but 'Soul Ties' is my attempt at documenting the spiritual lessons and experiences I have had so far. The pieces in the show are very much a synthesis of classic European painting aesthetics melded with my initial discipline as a street artist'.
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Kade Valja in conversation with Gallery Director, Niomi Sands
How did you become interested in art?
I became interested in painting in early teenage-hood as a graffiti writer using only aerosol and house paint.
The transition to fine art came from experimentation with airbrushing to create smaller pieces with similar aesthetic to spray painting as well as school art excursions to contemporary galleries in metropolitan areas and in one particular case an experience at the Brett Whiteley Studio that convinced me to open up my visual vocabulary as a painter.
What’s different about what you create now from when you started?
My studio work when I started was very different from what I'm creating now in the studio though I can still see the links between the two and do reference and am inspired by older work sometimes. In the beginnings of my studio work I would say the paintings were more towards classic surrealism where as now the work is more dynamic and fluent as a whole in form, aesthetic and subject though surrealism is still very much present in current work.
What are you proudest of in your work?
The thing that I'm most fond of in my work is the strength of the individual style and the way I have so far been able to translate it through many different mediums.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I'm working on smaller 2D works in the studio and a lot of smaller sculpture using DIY lost wax metal casting methods and virtual reality. I have also been working on a set of embroidered patches and stickers I will be releasing very soon on my online store as well as some virtual reality video content I hope to be releasing online for free in the near future.
Any advice to young artists?
To not feel guilty to accept help from others in whatever form that comes in no matter how stubborn you are, because you can't do it all on your own.
What advantage does living in a regional area give an artist?
The advantages to living in a regional area for me comes with the lower cost of living as well as well as the geographical luxury of being wedged between rain forest and beach with at least a 3-hour drive to the next metropolitan area. This serves my creativity well as nature is a constant source of inspiration.
Image credit: Kade Valja Beginning to see the light (detail), Acrylic on cotton canvas, 208 x 163cm. Courtesy of th artist.
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