Lives and works in Sydney
AS IT IS
17 November — 27 November 2021
Marie Mansfield is an artist who finds the beauty in the minor moments of our existence. She sharpens our focus, inviting us to consider her still life compositions on a deeply intimate level.
Mansfield’s works reflect the subtle echoes of the scenes less remembered. She establishes a narrative leaving gaps, allowing the viewer to impose their own experiences onto the picture plane. For the most part, her scenes are bare; filled only with a deafening silence. There is an absence of human life, although traces have been left behind—hints of an interaction. The remnants linger in her spaces. We become voyeurs, peering into the private lives of others.
At the same time, there is a familiarity to her painted scenes. As viewers, we feel as though we might have been there before—rested in her chair, dined from her plate and walked her streets. There is a grander narrative at play and Mansfield invites us to consider the history attached to that moment—to consider all that we have not seen. We delve into the artist’s works to find her paintings imbued with an air of mystery.
There is a gentle tonality to Mansfield’s work. Much can be attributed to the influence of Clarice Beckett’s evocative landscapes—her subdued palette and muted edges arousing feelings of nostalgia. Viewing Mansfield’s work, we become immersed in the sensory impressions of the artist’s everyday world. Through her sensitive consideration of objects and her thoughtful compositions, a sense of intimacy is created. By contrasting light and shadow, Mansfield’s stills have at once a noiresque uneasiness and are breathtakingly beautiful.
Mansfield was awarded the Portia Geach Memorial Prize in 2021. Her work has also been celebrated in numerous other art prizes including the Archibald Prize, Percival Prize, Moran Prize, Kilgour Prize and Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.