I’m excited to announce my upcoming exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’ at the Gauge Gallery 68 Glebe Point Rd Glebe. Opening night is Tuesday the 11th of August from 6-8pm and on Saturday the 15th of August from 1pm my fellow exhibitor, Photographer Claire Holsinger and I will be giving an artist talk. Please come along!
This body of work began after I broke my toe badly. It refused to heal and I was forced to stop and literally put my feet up. During this time I began to use social media, really for the first time. I also drew lots and watched my yard explode to life through spring and summer. My paintings in ‘Beyond The Surface’ are a resolution for me of the contradictions I observed during this time, between the superficial gloss and connections of social media and the enduring, interconnectedness of the natural world of which we are all a part.
Social media appears to hold great promise of connection and community, but all too often delivers a faux intimacy. Endless sparkly posts show nothing but a veneer, a sanitized version of life; exotic holidays, great hair days and enviable nights peppered with smiling faces frozen in time. Rather than connection for me there were times when a gulf loomed, tinged with anxiety. My ordinary flawed life could not compete with those ‘Friends’ whose lives appeared more interesting, happy and successful. Of course I immediately knew I was not alone in this feeling, that it’s inherent in the medium. Social Media is reliant on our need to compete, to keep up the façade of an enviable life and yet in keeping it up, we are distanced by the false nature of the life we construct for public consumption. The reality is our ‘Friends’ can easily become our competitors and who wants to appear vulnerable to a competitor.
Contrasted with this man-made online world masquerading as community was the view from my window. Our yard exploded with life! Our new neighbours planted winter melons whose tendrils grew like Triffids, invading our yard at an astonishing rate, smothering everything in their path. Birds, our seasonal tenants, returned to their nests, picking bugs from plants to feed the tiny mouths of an endless round of hatchlings nesting in our pergola and backyard trees. Seeds my daughter and I planted flowered prolifically with a kaleidoscope of hilarious blooms. Hot pink, sunny yellow, purple and red vied for attention and space. The sanitized world of social media contrasted so sharply with this intricately balanced ecosystem. Self assured flora and fauna danced with life and purpose, they appeared completely comfortable and independent, while still totally reliant on all other organisms for survival. We too are part of that ecosystem.
This couch time forced to stop and watch the world and reminded me how funny we humans are. We kid ourselves globally, that we are somehow separate from nature and individually we often feel separate and alone, disconnected from life around and within us. The truth of course is we are all part of that same universal soup. We are all connected, all reliant on each other and everything around us. Our lives are all messy and fragile, confused and confusing, passionate and vulnerable, not shiny and perfect as they appear on Facebook, Linked in, Instagram etc. After all everything is just space and matter, molecules in an endless array of combinations, unique and full of potential. The notion of separation is really an illusion we construct ourselves for innumerable reasons.
My paintings explore all these ideas and hopefully capture them in a more beautiful and playful way than my words ever could. The works are colourful and layered, both thoughtful and intuitive. They are inspired, but also show pattern and structure, just like all of us and the world we inhabit. I hope you can pop by and see ” Beyond The Surface”
Till next time,
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