FASHION QUARTERLY: FOUR WAYS TO WEAR
ISSUE 1, 2019
I see my work as being a very separate entity to what I wear. While I bring my art into the world, it has a unique life outside myself. Hence while my work is so colourful, I often wear black.
My fashion sense is tailored, elegant and classic. I don’t have many possessions and the same goes for my wardrobe - I like to keep it to things I love and wear regularly. Recently, I’ve been mixing colour back in.
Brown has a certain richness and depth. I find it’s a good bridging colour, especially in a jacket. A darker brown can pair well with bright jewel tones, including denim; the clarity of those colours are brought out by the depth and darkness of brown. I found in the past year I’ve introduced brown into my paintings, too.
I love how versatile fashion is becoming now - there are so many more trends around, you can choose the ones that work best for you. Dressing for me is about choosing complimentary pieces that bring out our own individual beauty. Taking the time to dress well and look good can reflect how we feel inside and is one way of loving and honouring ourselves. This doesn’t mean those who are more ‘fashionable’ do this more, but it about the intention and purpose we give to our presentation, using the skills we have, at whatever level that may be. I see fashion as another form of creative expression.
My work as an ever-evolving entity, driven by a desire to create a sense of visual pleasure, dynamic rhythm and movement. The works are often quite large and contain a tangle of juicy, bold brushstrokes that weave their way through areas of cavernous depth and intense flatness. Each work is ‘constructed’ and evolves from a process of decisions specific to that painting, so this internal logic makes each work unique. Most of the works are acrylic on canvas or linen, although lately I’ve been experimenting with oil paint.
Recently, I’ve been interested in how painting can prompt the viewer back into the present moment and their own body. The body informs much of my work, from the trace of my own in the large sweeping gestures reminiscent of dance and physical exertion, to the size of much of my work deliberately mimicking the size of our own bodies.
I’m showing new work at Sydney’s Gallery 9 until the end of March, and in June I have a solo show at The Vivian in Matakana and a group show with other female artists at my gallery in Hawke’s Bay, Parlour Projects. I’m halfway through my MFA at Elam School of Fine Arts, so will end the year with my graduation show.
I love how reflective art is. I once heard the expression that an artist holds up a mirror to society, but I believe art also connects to something more eternal beneath our every-day surface. It’s incredibly fulfilling to access this deeper level in my studio practice.
Photographed by Michael James Rooke for Fashion Quarterly
Interview by Jessica-Belle Greer