WELCOME TO THE ADAM RISH WEBSITE 2014
IMAGES BIOGRAPHY NEXT EXHIBITION
Adam Rish has exhibited around Australia over the past 40 years. He is represented in many of the major collections in this country and has won numerous awards. He has worked in collaboration with Aboriginal painters like Fred Tjakamarra from Balgo, and Hector Jandany and Lily Karadada from the Kimberley. He also designs textiles, including kilims from Konya, Turkey, ikat weavings from Sumba, and tapa cloth, in Tonga. Since 2004 he has worked with Mexican potter Lino Alvarez in Hill End, Australia. For the past 3 years his main body of work has been wooden sculpture, based upon Southeast Asian tribal imagery, made in collaboration with I Wayan Sumantra, in Ubud, Bali.
The artist’s interest is in cross-cultural collaboration as "world art" (like "world music") to affirm indigenous culture, regional diversity and the possibility of productive intercultural relations. He takes traditional techniques and adapts them by employing modern images, so for example, cars, planes and television sets may take the place of traditional abstractions of flowers, birds and clouds.
The collaborative works are discussed with his co-artists and the images relate to their environment, media and traditional iconography. Rish’s contribution is to place these events in a contemporary context by inserting the kartiya (white person) elements: Thus we see Toyota Dreamings, a Guirirr Guirirr Ceremony Dewari (devil) appears on the midday show and an owl reads the late, late, news, while a Wandjina figure alights from a Weber barbecue flying saucer carrying Erich Von Daniken's guidebook.
In the Mimbres influenced ceramic "Mimbres Man" an armless figure with a television face hops around on a long curling tail, while in "Kumete" an anthropomorphic chicken is surrounded by bone televisions.
As for the sculpture: In “My Kingdom for a Horse” a wooden horse rides backwards on the back of a blind king. “Noah” has only a climate change desert to walk his boat over. “Totem”, an Asmat house pole, stacks cars, phones, houses, soldiers and winged AK47’s beneath a little king. “Metamorphosis” has a Kafka cockroach writing a book out of his hand. “Vanity Eunuch” is a glass coffee table supported by a kneeling Narcissus staring into a palette shaped mirror.
While Rish’s work revels in both exotic and graphic elements, in fact these forms are not exotic to the tribal societies from which they come. This art is integral to their collective, cultural consciousness and as such draws spiritual and visual authority from this certainty of meaning.
His next exhibition "Misanthropology: The World Art of Adam Rish" is at Gold Coast City Gallery from 31 January - 16 March 2015.
This site is an introduction to the work of Adam Rish.
Works are for sale price range AUS $1000-10000
Further works are available and commissions undertaken.
For further information email the artist or write to
31 Burnie St, Clovelly, NSW, 2031
Phone 612 9665 2071