Palimpsest

palimpsest_iPalimpsest i (Disco Raiders), water colour on paper

palimpsest_iiPalimpsest ii, water colour on paper

This is the beginning of a new series based on a ‘poster wall’ in Yarraville I pass every day walking home from the train station. I’ve photographed it several times and now I’m working from my photos, painting small watercolours.

Palimpsest
1. A manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing.
2. Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

Action / Abstraction – Wangaratta Art Gallery

I recently visited Action/Abstraction. It was inspiring. If you like abstract painting I highly recommend seeing this exhibition. Five painters are represented: Jo Davenport, Sally Gabori, Todd Hunter, Ildiko Kovacs, and Aida Tomescu. Let’s start with Aida Tomescu, a painter I’m growing to love more and more. Tomescu layers paint, scrapes back, drips and splatters, draws into the work, and adds more layers. Her paintings have a strong physical presence and are bold, complex, and beautiful.

aida tomescu_crossgrain_12
Tomescu was a finalist in the Wynne Prize 2012 with Crossgrain.
What I wanted to get to was a unified presence, full and ordered with a light and clarity of its own.
Intensively worked, scraped back repeatedly, and reconsidered, Crossgrain is not a painting about texture. Nor is the image trying to create a special illusion of a representative world – though if you want to think in terms of earth, air, the soft steps of the sky, it is all of those things.
I think of Crossgrain more as a space where mood, movement, vibration, the linkages of marks across the surface and their special behaviour form a particular experience.

(from her artist statement)

The exhibition runs until 24 March.

Aida Tomescu, Aspen, 2010Aida Tomescu, Aspen, 2010

Aida Tomescu, Tethys II, 2010Aida Tomescu, Tethys II, 2010

Melissa Powell

traces of time_M_PowellTraces of time, 2012, pigment ink on cotton rag

Today I visited Vestige II by Melissa Powell at Anita Traverso Gallery.

I met Melissa last year when visiting my artist friend Mars in Natimuk, so I was curious to see her work. It was absolutely amazing! Beautiful aerial photography of the landscape, mainly in the Wimmera. Paddocks of canola embellished with curving plough lines like a yellow plush carpet. The mineral colours and abstract shapes of a salt lake. The traces left on the earth by farming, mining, erosion, fire and flood. And Droughtbreaker, a dark photograph of the delicate tracery of dead trees contrasting with dark flood water. Her photographs have a beautiful meditative quality and give us a bird’s eye view of the land.

Droughtbreaker_M_PowellDroughtbreaker, 2011, pigment ink on cotton rag

NGV leadlight ceiling

I visited the NGV St Kilda Road today with a friend from Adelaide and we spent some time lying on the couches in the Great Hall admiring the leadlight ceiling by Leonard French. The hall is a beautiful cathedral-like space bathed with light and the coloured glass mosaic reminds me of a kaleidoscope. It’s the largest stained glass ceiling in the world (according to Wikipedia).