Diversity and demise Wollongong City Gallery 2017
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Diversity and demise Wollongong City Gallery 2017

Madeleine Kelly 2017 Diversity and Demise Encounters with pelagic birds and sub-linguistic form Wollongong City Gallery 11 February - 14 May
2017 Diversity and Demise Encounters with pelagic birds and sub-linguistic form Wollongong City Gallery
The Trawler 2017, acrylic and oil on polyester 213 x 167cm
Port Kembla, 2016, oil on gesso board 32 x 42.5cm
Madeleine Kelly, Leipzig birds, 2017, encaustic on cardboard with painted paper mounted on Aluminium sheet 176 x 116cm Photograph Bernie Fischer
Leipzig birds 2017 encaustic on cardboard with painted paper mounted on Aluminium sheet 176 x 116cm Photograph Bernie Fischer

The works in Diversity and Demise: Encounters with pelagic forms and sub-linguistic forms advances my research with respect to typographical forms by learning from documentation I have made of Peruvian and Mexican art. Forms evolve within the order of geometric patterns. This new compositional method is a significant shift in my work, allowing me to depict narratives as though they are part of a complex geometric iconographic system. The works test typographic abstraction, sublinguistic forms and display.

While painting remains core, my practice is enhanced by interrelationships with other mediums. For instance, my approach to figurative abstraction can be seen in the architectonic forms of my bird sculptures, whose bodies are determined by distorted Tetra Paks. Increasingly, I critique painting as a form of knowledge that refers to itself and questions its own limits.

 

The Trawler 2017
The Trawler is a portrait of human identity and hunger for power. The central figure, shown commanding the space, is an awkward giant with arms that terminate in fishhooks. Her head – a crane that bows clumsily and shamefully over her colossal body – denotes the utilitarian mentality of industrialised fishing, or any factory farming for that matter. Certain geometry abides. Scintillating blocks of colour accumulate throughout her monumental torso, encoding a human face. The motif of the face is repeated, but with each repetition increasingly erased. Around her figure, squares and diamonds form the foundation for ascending albatross. In the background, fishing vessels composed of flat blocks are inspired by artist Kazimir Malevich’s approach to abstraction. My approach to geometric abstraction also recalls the different colour combinations and permutations in the textile iconography of Cusco, Peru, and formally connects to my bird sculptures. The fishing vessel at the top of the painting is based on an image of the Atlantic Dawn, weighing 14 055 tones was the world’s biggest factory trawler to plunder African fish stocks in 2003.

 

Port Kembla 2016
Port Kembla is a bleak image of the Port Kembla steelworks in which coke ovens, steel-making buildings, stacks, a conveyer gallery and billowing steam serve as structural devices of confinement for abstract figures. At night, gas flares tint the hazy sky peach-pink. A couple convey my perceptual experience of this unique architectural space. With flat square heads carved out of a single brushstroke, the couple possess a haunted air, as if existing solely to inhabit the border that separates real dramatic industry and painted space. Their surreal partnership is watched by a solitary figure. Abstract wedges mirror the perspectival extremes in this inspiring architecture. I love its measured eccentricity and archaic beauty.

Gallery

Woolongong City Gallery. NSW

Dates

11th Feb - 14th May 2107