In Belem Lett’s latest series of paintings organic forms of strange elegance unfurl in richly coloured plumages. Mark making is central to these paintings, rendered in glowing definition over white underpainting. Brush marks range from precise repetition to bold, sweeping spontaneity. These works are borne from Lett’s ongoing research into the 18th century Rococo movement, or late Baroque, a period known for its elaborate organic motifs and lavishness. Lett playfully mimics the symmetry found in Baroque decoration and its depictions of nature, encouraging these abstract constellations of colour and gesture to read as flora or fauna. This mirroring is also a direct reference to Rorschach’s infamous inkblots, designed to bridge the gap between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Belem Lett graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) in 2008 and completed a Master of Fine Arts by research at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW in 2013. In 2010 he was awarded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and a UNSW Travel Grant to undertake a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Lett’s recent exhibitions include shows at Chasm Gallery, New York, Gallery 9, Firstdraft and MOP projects as well as numerous group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. In 2016 he has been a finalist in the Chippendale New World Art Prize and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.