1st November – 25th November 2017
Independent curator Zara Collins presents new work from four Australian painters in the exhibition Aesthetic Uncertainties. Taking landscape as a common point of departure each artist uses the medium of paint to express something innately personal: an experience, a journey, a memory, a dream.
Artists Madeleine Cruise, David Collins, Ondine Seabrook and Zuza Zochowski invite the viewer to look through their subjective observations to comprehend their experiences of ‘place’ and to see something subtle, precious and ephemeral in the context of a busy contemporary world.
"My work always begins as a response to what I see around me, effects of light, linear elements in the landscape, unusual colour relationships.
As a picture develops the relationships within it become my primary focus and the application of each mark, tone or colour becomes a dialogue with all that have gone before it."
Madeleine Cruise is an emerging artist who creates sensational objects and abstract images that explore emotional experience in contemporary life. Driven by a desire to make complex situations tangible, her work investigates such themes as sexuality, relationships and social status, within a personal and broader social context. In a creative process that explores material equivalents between painting and sculpture, madeleine creates immersive sensual and tactile environments for contemplation.
Ondine Seabrook's work comes from the Australian landscape, which has been embedded in her growing up around Pittwater on Sydney's northern beaches and going on regular camping trips and treks around Australia. She starts her process from either small simple studies done out bush or quick paint sketches done in her Sydney studio from memory of a recent trip. Ondine then begins to build her work up in the studio, through spontaneous process her work becomes more abstract, stylised and about favoured colour, gestural marks and wonky shapes. She is cautious not to objectify the Australian landscape in a traditional European way and instead offer up a whimsical yet grounded feel. Sometimes, through honouring process she lets her work become completely abstract, simply embracing the qualities of the paint and the act of painting. The landscape is always an important starting point. Her recent work has formed from the central Australian desert.
Zuza Zochowski’s artworks investigate her immediate surroundings from her daily walks in her local urban surroundings as well as interior still lifes of her newly settled home. To quote Willem De Kooning ‘Content is a glimpse of something, an encounter like a flash,’ Zochowski’s paintings resemble a similar quality by capturing momentary passages of time before nature modifies the original glance.
Until recently, Zochowski’s practise in painting has continually been reliant on the photograph as reference material. Her subjects have been based on her surroundings, particularly on travels, and specific moments in time. Zochowski’s practice has developed to painting from life and questioning how to personally translate her visual experience into an image.
The change in her method of painting has made her aware and immediate to different aspects within landscape. Zochowski’s developed awareness has focused on contrasts, solid and fluid shapes, harsh and soft light, dense and light colours. Working mainly with watercolour, Zochowski depicts her immediate surroundings by using loose yet deliberate brushstrokes which immediately stain the paper. Her images stay away from major detail and are composed of humble shapes using tone and colour to shift perspective which leave the viewer guessing for more.
Zuza Zochowski lives in the Illawarra area and is a teacher at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre. She has been a finalist in several prestigious awards including the Portia Geach Memorial Award, Willoughby Art Prize (First Prize for Painting), Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award and most recently the Wollongong Contemporary Watercolour Prize (Commended) and the Parliament Plein Air Prize.