4 – 21 May 2022, Rubicon Ari, 1/309 Queensberry St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This series of paintings explores processes of systematisation in response to living in a chaotic and unpredictable world. It combines figures, landscape, white geometric structures and abstract fields of colour. There is a dialogue between the elements within each painting, as well as between the paintings themselves. This dialogue suggests that these elements are working together in a system, but it is not clear how.
The pieces explore the intersection of a surreal world and the systemised processes used to interact with it. The body of work uses a mixture of first person, second person and third person perspectives, to create a sense of investigative photographic documentation, like a series of snapshots from a field trip. The mixture of perspective, and interaction of elements in the paintings seek to create a sense of density – there are many objects for investigation and the relationships between them are of interest. The viewer is invited to look both from their own perspective and from the perspective of the figures that appear within the works.
The works explore the idea that processes used to seek knowledge and understanding can be hazardous and elusive. Dense with colour, figures and geometric objects vying for attention, the paintings convey a sense of surplus. The environment created is busy with objects and information, the figures are confronted with an overload of data and distractions. The repetition of form and colour, the spacing and size of the objects and figures creates a dialogue between these elements. Through the occasional inversion of objects and structures, the works also aim to create a sense of destabilisation and confusion. The paintings use a vivid pink, in a way which is playful, but also conjures associations of toxicity. The contrast between neon colours, which hover over earthier, natural tones, is uneasy and points to the interaction between the natural and artificial.
The paintings also contain large white structures and vertical lines. Sometimes these appear to be part of the landscape, existing harmoniously within it, and at other times they appear to be superimposed intrusions. These structures may be physical crystallisations of immaterial systems – thought processes, philosophical approaches or social or political structures. They might be a mental imposition, or they may exist below the surface, and have been dug up to see how things function.