Geode | Lisa Denyer | 08 February – 02 March 2014
Delving into the artist’s fascination with landscape and the sublime, Geode is a series of new paintings and sculptures that exploit the materiality of paint through a subtle interplay between image, illusion and space.
Much of the inspiration for the works in this exhibition comes directly from the natural world and rock formations, whether microscopic images of crystalline structures within gem stones, or expansive planetary landscapes. It is the space in-between these two worlds that Denyer aims to explore through her abstract language, intuitively responding to the illusionary qualities of paint to discover a visual territory that lies somewhere between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Denyer’s often meditative approach to painting is one that is open to drift and deviation, allowing the materiality of paint to obscure representation; for what might be a sparkling cluster of precious gems bursts out of focus into a blurry constellation that may resemble a night sky.
Geode showcases recent sculptural stone works, marking a new direction and development in Denyer’s practice. The stones in this series were originally quarried and used for vernacular buildings in the local area, but the once perfect and geometrically dressed stones have weathered over time, now bearing closer resemblance to their origins in the natural landscape. Interested in the changing state and inherent qualities of these objects, Denyer applies her own process of transformation by excavating surfaces and layering effervescent colours; rendering their status somewhere between reclaimed rubble and gigantic gems.
The interaction between paint and the raw surface upon which it is applied is a key consideration within Denyer’s painting practice. In all of the works, the traditional stretched canvas is replaced with found stone and plywood - materials carefully chosen for their textured surface qualities. Denyer’s process of painting is one that subtly responds to the materiality of the medium itself, exploring how liquid pigments are supported on a given surface; how they soak, infuse, and float like gas. Employing both craft and spontaneity, Denyer’s painting techniques set to work an interplay that reveals the very structure and illusionary nature of paint; both in its opaque presence and illusive invisibility.
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