Sabbiablue’s life has been all about art since the age of 4 when he sat at his mother’s table tracing the outline of the patterns on the placemat with his fork. It was many years later, in the summer of 1998 that our path’s intersected on the first day at Perth College, where we were both enrolled, along with my current boss Nicola Martin, on an HND communication course.
Over the next couple of years, we all spent a lot of time together, working on class projects and (mainly me and Sabbiablue to be honest) working on It's like the difference between a short story and a novel. No one is working on this scale.various money-making schemes. Some of these were completely legit, like the jobs Nicki got us at an Italian restaurant where she was waitressing. Blue (that's what we called him for short) lasted a couple of months in his role but I only made it a pathetic two weeks as a K.P. before literally throwing in the (kitchen) towel. Some of our schemes were slightly less above board, like the summer jobs we got doing market research questionnaires door-to-door that we mostly filled in on the couch while watching T.V. I remember around this time Nicki's three-year-old Cain (now 24 and Small City's graphic designer) asking in all seriousness: "Blue? What colour are you going to be when you grow up?"
Even back then Sabiablue was passionate about his art and I can still remember the excellent pen and paper drawings of the Tay Bridge that he used to sell at the Perth festival but it had been quite a few years since I'd spoken to him and even longer since I'd seen his art. So when I arrived at his studio to have a chat with him ahead of his exhibition of drawings at The Venue I was amazed at the scale he was working on now.
"I started working on large A5 panels but the amount of detail in my work was getting lost so I started using four panels and assembling them into one grand piece. It gives me much more space to work, ." He shows me "Murder Scene No. 3" one of the large four-panel pieces that will form the basis of the exhibition. It is a visually striking work with a film noir quality that could be a still from an Orson Welles film, it exudes drama and intrigue.
The drawing forms part of a series of 5 pieces depicting murder scenes. "My next series is definitely going to have softer edges. It's going to be all about childhood and nostalgia. I don't like to do the same thing for too long". That perhaps explains why Sabbiablue has moved around so much, he spent his childhood between Italy and London and has travelled all over the World working as a chef. "I worked as the head chef in the hotel from the film 'Whiskey Galore' for a while, one of my works is still hanging in the restaurant there".
I am also given a sneak preview of "Crucifixion" that depicts Christ on the cross. "I am really inspired by Renaissance artists, I like to include religious themes, multiple figures and incorporate different textures". It's a work with an astounding amount of detail and it has me wondering how you plan something like this and how long it takes. "I work things out in advance using a grid system, it's a technique that artists have been using for thousands of years. This particular piece took six months to complete, which seems like a huge amount of time but Da Vinci took 18 years to finish a work and he didn't have Netflix or Facebook to distract him".
So if you fancy seeing some pondering some art on a grand scale then check out Sabbiablue's website here or even better head down to The Venue you can take enjoy it in its full-scale while sipping a high-end gin and chatting with the artist himself. The exhibition will be open to the public for a week from Monday the 27th of November.
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