Insight into Art: Amok Island

An Inside Look at Painting Marine Life Murals on Building Walls
By UWPG

 

Insight into Art: Amok Island


An Inside Look at Painting Marine Life Murals on Building Walls

Interview by Brent Durand, January 12, 2015

 

Amok Island

'Histrio Histrio/Sargassum Frogfish' Leederville, Western Australia 2014

 
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If you drive around Western Australia and have a sharp eye for art, chances are high that you’ve seen one of Amok Island’s incredible marine life wall murals.

Amok Island is a critically acclaimed artist creating unique wall paintings as well as a series of hand-printed screen prints. He recently had a solo gallery exhibition in Tokyo and completed a very interesting project documenting marine organism growth on concrete letter sculptures placed underwater over the time span of a year.

We’ve caught up with Amok Island and asked 5 questions to learn a bit more about his painting, inspiration and why he does what he does.

 

Amok Island

'Barracuda' Leederville, Western Australia 2014

 

 

Amok Island Interview

 

BD:  How do you best describe your artwork?

AI:  I paint mostly marine animals on walls and canvas using acrylics, rollers and brushes. I guess my style can be seen as a mix of realism and a stylised image. When I reach the right balance the image comes alive, plus has a modern design quality, and I am happy. I try to use geometric shapes, straight lines and simple compositions, but I want to also show a realistic image of a specific animal. I want people to be able to recognise which exact animal it is. 

 

BD:  About how long does it take you to complete one wall mural?

AI:  It takes up to 5 days depending on size and detail. Most walls take me 3 days. A huge wall does not necessarily have to take a huge amount of time, you just use larger tools - larger rollers. It is more about the detail, the amount of different shapes than the size. For example, the huge Seahorse I recently finished in Fremantle took 3.5 days. A smaller mural with more detail could have taken the same amount of time to paint.

 

Amok Island

'Hippocampus Subelongatus' Fremantle, Western Australia 2014

 

BD:  You were painting walls in Amsterdam before traveling and relocating to Perth. What inspired this big shift?

AI:  I was born in Amsterdam and I lived there until I was 24. About 6 years ago I met my girlfriend, who is from Perth, and after living in Amsterdam for 2 years together we moved to Australia. The plan was to live here for 6 months but Australia was perfect for what I like to do. I live close to the sea, so aside from painting I spend a lot of time at the beach and in the water. I photograph the animals I see in the water and I paint them in my studio at home - it’s perfect!

 

BD:  Do you base your paintings on your experiences scuba diving?

AI:  Yes, often when I encounter a certain animal that makes an impact on me I want to paint it as well. Although Google is excellent in getting reference photos I really like it when I can use my own photos to study my subjects.

 

Amok Island

'Cephalopholis Urodeta' Mt Lawley, Western Australia 2014

 

BD:  What is your dream project – what marine life creature and in what location?

AI:  I can paint any creature that I feel like at this point, but I always love to travel and paint in different places. This is especially true when the place is known for a certain animal and I can paint that animal there. It becomes special. I was in Perth Hedland in the Pilbara in Western Australia, where I painted a Flatback turtle hatchling. To me, that made so much sense because Port Hedlands Cemetery beach is one of the few beaches in the world where that turtle lays its eggs. The mural is located very close to the beach and I love that idea. Plus, I like that the mural has an educational expect to it. I would love to paint some more in exotic places where there are no murals. Wherever I travel, I try to paint at least one wall.

 

Amok Island

'Red Snow Crab' Kinosaki-Onsen, Japan 2014

 

Amok Island

'Mahi Mahi / Dolphin Fish' Perth, Western Australia

 

Amok Island

'Flatback Turtle Hatchling' Port Hedland, Western Australia 2014

 

 

About Amok Island

Amok Island (born Amsterdam, 1983) is an artist based in Perth, Western Australia.

Obsessed with marine life, you can find Amok Island's recognisable stylised sea creatures painted on canvas and walls around the world. Amok Island hand prints his own screen prints, producing the ongoing 'Animals of Australia' series.

Amok Island has exhibited his work extensively in gallery spaces throughout Western Australia, in Amsterdam, and recently in a solo exhibition in Tokyo.

Website: www.amokisland.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/amokisland

Instagram: @amokisland

 

 

Further Reading

 

 

Support the Underwater Photography Guide:


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


 

 
 
SHARE THIS STORY

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.