By Kyra Gillespie
Emerging artist Callum Warren has just wrapped up his first of many art exhibitions.
A Degustation of Art was showcased at highly acclaimed local restaurant O.MY with up to 50 pieces on display on Sunday 12 November.
Having already done a few commissioned pieces for the famous Bertoncello brothers, Callum was able to transform their restaurant space into a pop-up gallery for the night.
“I’ve been thinking about doing an exhibition for a couple of years now, so when I did my most recent series for the guys at O.MY I had the idea of exhibiting there,” Callum said.
“In 2012 I did a big panorama drawing of all the guys working in the kitchen and they came back to me this year to do a series that links the farm back to the restaurant.
“Since I already have some artwork there I thought it was worth a shot to ask them to host my first gallery.
“I wanted the space to feel very DIY, not like a perfect white wall gallery space with everything meticulously framed and that’s exactly what I got.”
The evening saw 100 people walk through the Beaconsfield restaurant’s doors.
“I was really stoked with how the night went.
“It was amazing to have the opportunity to show my work to so many people.”
When Callum first pitched the idea he planned on creating a whole new series with a single theme but quickly realised he had folios full of art that had never been seen before.
“I have a lot of work that hasn’t been looked at in a long time.
“Most of the time if it’s not framed up on the wall it just sits in my folio for years, so I decided to bring it all out to see how my art has changed over time.
“There were quite a few that I hadn’t seen in a while; it was weird to see it altogether as one big collection.
“There is more contrast and juxtaposition in my later work – playing with realistic and surreal elements – which is very different to my earlier stuff.
“The exhibition gave me a look into my artistic development and identity as an artist.”
The 23-year-old artist first became inspired to draw from his late grandfather.
“Grandpa was an amazing artist. He passed when I was young, but I still remember going around there and drawing with him.
“Since then I grew up drawing.”
Callum is most at home with portraits but said he has been playing with other mediums recently.
“I have primarily drawn portraits over the last couple of years, with a lot of inspiration coming from my favourite films and scenes.
“I really enjoy capturing someone’s expressions and emotions but I also try to explore as many different subject matters as I can.
“I spend most of my time with charcoal but lately I’ve been enjoying experimenting with lots of different materials.
“I get the most satisfaction out of the creative process and the problem solving that comes with it.
“Art really is an endless pit to explore.”
After graduating from a Bachelor of Design at Deakin University in 2015, Callum knew art was something he wanted to pursue well into his career.
“If my art took off to a point where I could support myself I would definitely love that, but I know that’s a hard place to get to.
“But for me, money isn’t the main objective, financial success is not going to stop me from drawing or painting because it’s part of who I am.
“It’s just something I do – it’s part of my day, really.”