Ness Flett is a biological illustrative artist based in Melbourne, Australia. She works predominately in full graphic renderings and skeletal schema of canine and equine subjects. Her work forms two distinct but connected groups; the emotionally driven work exemplified by the 'Quagga' series, and the more clinical, observation based style of 'Canis', 'Botanic' and 'Anatomic'.
With a background in classical dressage, breeding and training horses, the 'Quagga' body of work is a very personal and anthropomorphic method of producing artwork and navigating the emotional landscape.
The floating yet contorted postures in the animals illustrated, tap into the many different elements of equine body language; from the extremities of rage, stress, exuberance and beyond. By definition, we know that the emotional state is not a static sensation, as the psyche continues to create overlays of logic and reason to try and structure something that will always be in a continuous state of flux.
The process of making these works is a cathartic and physical experience, due to the sheer scale of the works, from scarring the surface, to bold graphic contouring lines that define bodies, to marking the paper with charcoal as if moulding the form.
Flett's understanding of Quagga psychology adds an additional layer and opportunity for further anthropomorphism; wild zebras fight constantly, establishing systems of dominance and submission and engage in herd politics and game play, in turn underpinning Flett's work with powerful and universal themes. From her vantage point when riding and the close physical connection between horse and trainer, Flett is able to infuse her zebra paintings with both raw emotion and anatomical observation, resulting in a series that is visually stunning for both its technical mastery and emotive quality.
Flett's more clinical approach to her other work becomes very apparent when the works are viewed in contrast to 'Quagga'. Aiming to capture the 'imperfections' of purebreds, Flett's hyperreal 'Canis' and 'Anatomica' are flawless yet removed, separated from feeling and infused with a sense of scientific questioning and exploration.
Currently working in the digital sphere, Flett also boasts a long history of design, web and illustration. Flett studied Multimedia Design at Swinburne University and graduated from RMIT University with a Degree in Fine Art. Prior to moving to design work full time, she was a resident artist and trainer at Morgado Lusitano (Portugal) and has had extensive exhibition history throughout Australia.