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Basic Space, Creative Movement

For 35 years, The Basement has been one of Sydney’s most charming live music venues. As it’s namesake suggests, the space began as a single level basement that provided an alternative to the pub rock and cover band scene taking place in the late 70s and early 80s. Tucked away in Circular Quay with humble beginnings as a jazz hub, The Basement gradually expanded and now hosts a variety of local and international music acts, playing host to artists such as Prince, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, The Whitlams and Tim Finn, to name only a few. Now, The Basement is expanding its creative doors to the visual arts by teaming up with Basic Space Galleries in a collaborative endeavour to liven up the city. Last month, it opened its doors, and its arms, to Sydney’s wider artistic community.

The initiative takes place in The Basement’s cosy upstairs cocktail bar, where Matthew Gillett will see the opening of his premier show tonight. Featuring large scale manipulation of oils on linen, Matthew seems to be heavily influenced by Japanese culture, but he prefers not to be labelled as a particular style. As Matthew says, “people can have the freedom to make up their own minds without feeling boxed into a style. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if I was to describe it, I would say they are ‘emotional journeys’.”

These emotional journeys encompass what can be closely linked to abstraction and cubism, with an element of human emotion and intensely coloured patterns. His use of colour will transform The Basement exhibition room slash cocktail bar to a vibrant, pulsating, living and breathing art space.

Head to 7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, tonight from 6pm to check out the opening night. The exhibition will run through until September.

words: Alex English


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