Working from his studio by the Southern Ocean, Raglus’ latest collection of refined geometric abstractions feature immaculately rendered linework and his signature diamond motif.
We asked Raglus a few questions recently to find out more about his interpretation of the exhibition theme and how the coastal lifestyle influences his practice. Read on to find out more!
Your latest exhibition ‘Cherish’, plays with ideas of sentiment, appreciation and reverence. Can you think of any particular moments that inspired this theme?
It’s easy to always be looking to the next part of your life for fulfilment, I am guilty of this. I have been trying to practise appreciating the present moment more, rather than thinking the grass is always greener. But you need drive and having goals is important, so to me this body of work for ‘Cherish’ is a symbol of holding on to memories that make you proud of who you are and how far you’ve come in your life, all the little things that make us who we are. Everyone is on their own journey but it’s the emotions we all share that connect us even if we are strangers.
When I was about 6 years old my family got the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento, on the ferry ride home I told my parents that it was ‘the best day of my life’. Just a funny, innocent memory I like to hold on to.
How would you say your signature aesthetic has evolved since your first show with Modern Times? Has your choice of colour palette has been a contributing factor?
It’s always a battle of making the work more and more minimal but somehow keeping it fresh and interesting. Colour is the main focus in my work and having a confidence to make such minimal art has taken many years but I think I have also developed my own unique style within the minimalist approach to painting. The work has definitely evolved and as i have grown older my influences have changed.
How do approach minimalism within the context of ‘Cherish’?
Usually I will come up with an idea for a new painting and as i work on the idea i let my current mood influence the colours and refinement. When things are flowing in the studio sometimes i don't even sketch anything down, it’s more a process of how fast i can get to work on a new idea. Those paintings are always my best because I feel like i acted on a raw human emotion and captured it just in time for it to feel authentic. I think people can feel that through the painting somehow.
Your stunning costal studio and passion for surfing are well-known aspects of your identity. How would you say these influence your practice?
In a way, I think being in the ocean all the time simplifies my life. You become addicted to that feeling. Anyone thats been in the cold ocean in winter knows thats it’s a huge shock to the body but after you feel really alive and have a sense of clarity. I think it’s because you're stripping away all the modern comforts and you're letting yourself be vulnerable to nature. I believe this influences my paintings and lets me create from a place that is maybe less complicated. I am very lucky to have grown up on the coast and still have a studio here. It’s something that i feel really fortunate to have.
Living down the coast, do you have any go-to spots or suggestions for us Melburnian’s looking to escape of the hustle and bustle?
Once you’ve gone past Cape Otway the ocean and the forest really goes into overdrive. I recommend going to Johanna beach on a nice summers day. Such a raw part of the victorian coast, be careful of the big waves. There are some really nice walks around the area as well. Port Fairy is a a cute little town further down the coast with some of the oldest houses and buildings in Victoria. I recommend Coffin Sally in Port Fairy for pizza.