Well-known dating site – eharmony – has curated an exhibition called ‘Painting Love.’ The exhibition shows art by 12 Aussies, including Bachelor heartthrob Konrad Bien-Stephen, artistic TikToker Shelby Sherrit, and three-time Olympian Belle Brockoff, and how they depicted what they thought love and compatibility look like.
The group of Australian artists ranged in age, background, and sexual orientation. They all took different approaches to the task – showcasing their different views on ‘real love’ and the unique perspective of each individual. Guided by Melbourne-based abstract artist Kirsten Jackson, they each submitted a piece to be displayed at a one-night-only exhibition at Greenfields Albert Park on May 31.
The 12 Aussies are all artistic novices and so they painted what love and compatibility meant to them. To many of us, hearts and the colours pink and red symbolise love but the exhibition also features abstract blue splotches, flowers and rainbows. Animals such as bees and otters also found their way into the exhibit, evoking strong ties to nature and non-romantic love and compatibility.
‘A whole otter love’ was painted by Bachelor, Konrad Bien-Stephen
Bachelor heartthrob Konrad Bien-Stephen’s piece of art was titled ‘A whole otter love’ and it showed two floating otters holding hands against a pale pink backdrop. When asked about his art, Konrad spoke to the audience at the exhibition and explained the meaning behind it. He said otters are known to hold hands when they sleep, symbolising trust and support. The cute creatures are also known for their noisy voices when they’re awake – a trait Konrad drew on to symbolise communication.
eHarmony psychologist Sharon Draper said love can be “a little less obvious”
“When thinking about what ‘love’ looks like, many of us have been culturally conditioned to think of symbols such as love hearts, kisses and weddings. But some of the things that people painted as symbolic are a little less obvious. Flowers for example can represent the happiness and abundance that love brings us, while trees are often associated with strength and longevity, and for some may symbolise fertility.
“Interestingly enough, animals also featured in the pieces contributed to the exhibition. Depending on the type of animal included, it can add a different meaning to the piece. Bees were featured, which may symbolise community and group strength, while an otter may symbolise unconditional positive regard, cuddles and loyalty.”
Melbourne-based abstract artist Kirsten Jackson said interestingly, there was a “prominence of blues”
“We know that love can take many forms, and when it comes to art, what someone sees in a piece of art, can be different to what others take away from the same canvas. When I paint my abstract pieces, what’s most important is that I feel love and happiness, as I find these feelings channel through to the person viewing the piece. This is the advice I gave our everyday artists for the exhibition – to channel love and compatibility when they approach the canvas.
“I was also incredibly interested in the colours used by the participants. We all know the pinks and the reds when it comes to love, but the prominence of blues, which can traditionally represent belonging, and green, which can signify self-esteem, were welcome surprises. Ultimately, a colour’s meaning is in the eye of the beholder and of the artist.”
About eharmony: eharmony was launched in 2000 with an intelligent Compatibility Matching System (CMS) to match singles, according to 32 bespoke dimensions of compatibility. On average, every 14 minutes, someone finds love on eharmony.
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