Since graduating from the South Australian School of Art in 1985, the bones of Louise Vadasz’s extensive portfolio have come to rest on the dramatic landscapes and seascapes of the state’s nature-rich Southern Vales region. Although her practice draws from a long history of local contemporaries – who have been equally as inspired by the area’s wild coastlines – Louise’s own bright and jagged works indicate a style that is both informed and idiosyncratic.
“I grew up there,” Louise tells Art Edit. “It’s the wine and coast region, and I still paint in that area. There’s been a long tradition of artists down there, like [20th-century Adelaide artist] Horace Trenerry. Artists like that have inspired me. But I’m a bit more abstract.”
Magenta, deep blues, bright orange, pastel pinks and neon greens make up her electrifying compositions. “I use a lot of bright colours that aren’t true to life colours. It’s more how I feel rather than what I’m seeing,” she says. The artist’s vivid works are textured compositions of oil on canvas, a medium that Louise prefers for its malleable qualities. However, she is anything but limited in the way she chooses to approach her subject matter, as exemplified by the large number of charcoal drawings that can be found scattered throughout her collection.
“I did a lot of drawing at art school and I still love to draw,” Louise says, talking about a recent trip to Italy where she spent much of her time drawing beside Lago d’Iseo in Lombardy. Alongside land and seascapes, Louise also does the odd donkey painting. “People love these,” she says, laughing. They remain true to her style, using bright colours and lots of paint.
Over the years, Louise has found herself in the spotlight at a numer of art world events, including as a finalist in the Fleurieu Landscape Art Prize 2016, the Adelaide Parklands Art Prize 2018, and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2015. This latter was an opportunity to showcase her portrait of Sydney Mardi Gras creative director Greg Clarke, an old friend of the artist. Throughout the year, the artist can be found exhibiting her work at a number of arts-based festivals throughout Australia, such as the South Australia Living Arts Festival, which she attends every August. “Last year I also exhibited in the Fran Fest, a women’s painting festival in South Australia. That was the last exhibition I was in, called Scapes,” Louise recalls.