GROUP. brings the work of four contemporary artists to our Chippendale gallery with each body of work unique in theme and methodology. The unifying element of this exhibition is the fastidious attention to the surface quality of each artist’s work. Throughout, there is an obsessive search for perfection in the way the works visually resonate with their audience. Each body of work stands as its own titled exhibition within the gallery space.
The artists have for years pushed the boundaries of their practise—colour, form and medium are pursued to the fullest. Dianne Gall’s luminous, hauntingly beautiful portraits play with the reflective qualities of colour and light; elements picked up by the abstractions of Tony Mighell’s deeply layered paintings. Mighell’s shimmering forms are a lens to the ethereal, silk collage and paint works by Zoë MacDonell that seek to explore visually intangible themes of space and time. (POB) Peta O’Brien’s (SEE PROJECT SPACE EXHIBITION) hand-built scultural vessels in the project space are at once primal and exquisitely delicate, touching on human sensuality and frailty.
A dream to colour your mind forever.
You will never really know what is happening in these paintings, these are images of lost dreamers caught in time, they have a presence in a captured moment without a prologue or an epilogue. You become the voyeur of a momentary solitary reflection.
This noir of the 21st century utilises saturated colour in a painted imaginarium where beauty lives unashamed, cinemagraphic desires, vignettes of isolation existing without a before or an after. They are there to be played out in your mind in every detailed nuance.
These mysterious images might be small in scale but command attention and envelope the viewer in. Visual devices like Bokeh lights evoke a sense of hope we might find in the warm air of a summers night, or the contemplation of rain tapping at the glass between us and the outside world.
You are now free to imagine and create stories, to dream meaning.
We are surrounded by rhythms in nature—the kinetic cycles both seen and unseen—have a profound effect on our existence as a species. From the change in the seasons and the ebb and flow of the ocean tides to the belief systems that mankind has worshipped. As a species, we have become more and more rational—science continually probes the intangible. The concepts of time and space are dimensions that can be measured in differing ways over history. These indomitable dimensions that exist, remain difficult to articulate in a visual sense. We exist in them, yet tend to not acknowledge the constant effect they have on us.
Zoe MacDonell’s art practice is concerned with what we cannot see. Her work—from the free-flowing forms, is juxtaposed with shimmering amorphous masses. Patterns reference the frequencies of our emotional states. Whilst the work appears initially as an abstraction, it is in many ways representational of a literal world.
Throughout history, from the West to the East, it has been a concern of artists and philosophers. The sand painting of First Nations peoples from Australia to the Americas explored free-flowing totemic representations to explain their existence in a world with no kept time or formal scientific rationale. The painting of Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock thrives on this principle- artists pushing aesthetic boundaries to represent which is not visually manifested into a set dictated form.
Contextually, MacDonell’s work sits within this paradigm. Her practice incorporates delicate shards of collage, painting and drawing stratified in silk. Beautiful and ethereal—the imagery is suggestive of energy systems within our bodies, the landscape, and the broader macrocosm that we exist in. Interpretations of reality have been influenced by the rhythms of music and the natural world—the precision of her practice is almost surgical in nature—yet the openness of her aesthetic exploration allows us to expand the borders of our own imagination.
In the artist’s words:
I’m looking for an abstract image that is recognisable; that is somehow as real to the eye and mind as any representational image. A lot of time painting is fumbling in the dark—trying different strategies, exploring different visual ideas—until the picture kicks in and directs its own path to completion.
A key strategy and familiar trope in abstract painting is the overlay of marks, the constant making and cancelling; this allows the painting to remain open, avoiding the picture ‘stalling’ through an over-defining of shape, symbol, and image. In these paintings I am using an alternative mark in successive layers; it functions like the use of counterpoint in music.
Your monthly art news on the run plus invitations to Nanda\Hobbs exhibitions and events