Sydney based Artist and Friend to RS, Jamie Preisz has shared a unique collection of handmade candles which are now available to purchase via the showroom and online store.

The Project Electric Koolaid got its namesake from a book the artist, Jamie Preisz, was reading while on a residency: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a 1968 nonfiction book by Tom Wolfe. It has been described as faithful and "essential" in depicting the roots and growth of the hippie movement.

The candles are a gradient reflecting the change of seasons in Messejana, Portugal. Beginning with the blue and fading to red the scents transition from top notes of: Cistus Ladanifer (Portuguese wild lavender flower common in Messejanna), with base notes of: Autumn leaf and wild grass. Transitioning to top notes of: Orange essence (a fruit that grows in the area of Messejanna, with base notes of: tobacco and hay.

As the scent and colour of the candles transition it means every candle is truly unique within a limited edition of 50. The scents and colours were created bespoke especially for this project. The wax is an Organic Soy Pillar wax and uses natural dyes made from various flower pigments.

The Lucky cat or Necko is a theme prominent in the work. Jamie says, "It holds significance and begun after my sister passed away in 2018 - I began to think of the times before she existed in my life (she was 5 years younger than me). Growing up in Beijing China as a child I distinctly remember the vision of these cats everywhere to bring luck and prosperity to local shops and restaurants. I started to explore this motif in my paintings as a way to tell myself there was a time before my sister and there will be time after as a way to grieve, self soothe, meditate on and celebrate her life".

"When I miss her I think of the cat and it reminds me things will be ok, I hope it brings calm and luck to everyone who buys one."

Where do you find inspiration?

I try to find inspiration from things that make me a little scared. Sometimes ideas come from diving into a subject, field or process you've never tried before. You think, if I had those skills what would I make - and then you try your best to learn the skills.

What has the last year looked like in terms of your practice?

The last year has seen my practice expand in many ways, using experience and intuition to inform elements of my painting practice. Being more comfortable making artworks in video formats to stand alone from my more traditional mediums and of course diving deep into the art of candle making.

Any new exciting projects ahead?

As well as the usual exhibitions and prizes, I'm getting married soon! My partner and I have less concern for tradition and have been enjoying a very creative approach to the idea of what a wedding can be. Organising psychedelic rock bands and creating our own versions of pagan rituals to be performed has been a demiurgic experience for us both.

How did you get into your practice?

I feel like I always knew I wanted to be an artist, it was a slow learning process. Discovering your own practice is a journey of self discovery in a way. For me it wasnt finding "my style" but more about a dedicated focus on exploring ideas in creative ways allowing my creation to be free of any preconceived notions I had of what is "good". Just as the outcome of a scientific hypothesis is neither inherently good nor bad an art practice needs to exist without judgement. The wider you can cast your creative net, the more time you can dedicate to a practice free of anxiety or comparison, the sooner you will find your voice and ideas that interest you.

Was there any particular reason you started creating your art?

To impress girls when I was 10 years old

How would you say your art/creation process has developed over time?

I draw way less dinosaurs now than when I was that 10 year old. 


Are there any artists that you draw inspiration from?

Artemisia Gentileschi, Andy Warhol, Carravagio, Van Goughs Ear, Nigel Milsom, Jonathan Dalton and the show Art Attack!

What’s your process when creating a work?

Ideas percolate through the filter of perception and reality like a poorly managed chemical plant. I'm a low wage worker and the artworks are the various benign tumors that form as part of the job.

Which part of your process do you enjoy the most?

Those moments where an idea is now formed and it's just my job to sit quietly and make it.

Do you have a dream project?

An album cover for Nick Cave/Jarvis Cocker/ Father John Misty

What’s your most inspirational place?


Where do you feel most inspired?

Working at a minimum wage job you don't like will make you come up with your most hair-brained, wild and creative schemes

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Don't worry about things that are out of your control. 


Preisz's work, created for the RS Art Curation Series 003, is a collection of soy-based candles using natural dyes made from various flower pigments, created exclusively for this project. As the scent and colour of the candles transition it means every candle is truly unique, within a limited edition of only 50 candles.