Brad Gordon-Smith had never heard of Melbourne artist KimmiLee before Instagram’s algorithm shuffled her into his life. Looking at pictures of her work inspired him to buy his first piece of original art – a metre square abstract that now holds pride of place in his living room.
“It was the beginning of lockdowns. I guess my focus shifted and I was getting a bit more homely. I was also spending a lot more time online.”
In those perplexing days of the pandemic’s bread-making era, like most of us, Gordon-Smith says he found himself increasingly interested in making his surroundings more beautiful. The artwork felt like a perfect salve. “It really resonated with me as something very calming at a time when everything was really crazy. It’s a vibe that I wanted to bring into my house generally, but especially at that time.”
Coming across Jade Crusade he says he felt an immediate connection to work’s azure tones. Gordon-Smith grew up on the Murray River and spent his early adulthood living near Melbourne’s St Kilda beach. “I don’t look at the piece and see it as water, but it reminds me of it.” Now living in Castlemaine, he says he’s a bit disconnected from water, but the painting is a way of bringing the element into his life.
Six months after he bought the work, a new relationship felt like a test of his taste and sensibilities.
“My partner is actually a curator at the Bendigo Art Gallery, so having her come over for the first time was a bit funny, knowing I had this rather large piece of art on my wall.”
“It was a huge relief that she liked it.”
Two years on, the piece still brings a sense of tranquillity to his home. His partner’s positive response, as well as those from other local artists he knows, he says, has added to the gratitude he feels for having the piece in his life.
“You know, you can tell if people are being polite, or they’re impartial, but people are genuinely really complimentary about it.”