Forms of Agency 2018 c3 Contemporary Art Space
Kelly, M. (2018). 1. The Pollinator 2. Struggling with the honeyeaters 3. How to look at a hexagon 4. The brush-tipped tongue of a honeyeater functions in the same way as a paint brush 5. Allowable forms and unconscious facts . In: Forms of Agency. c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by the symbolic elements and motifs that encode Peruvian textile imagery with meaning and compositional logic, my paintings evoke a sense of the known through their interconnected patterns and typological imagery. My research questions how I can make a painting that is painterly but relies on the graphic vocabulary of textile design. How can paintings present structural affinities between their figures and their grounds that suggest forms of knowing are contingent on the conditions from which they emerge? Forms of Agency brings disparate fields of textiles and painting together via geometric abstraction. Geometric motifs suggest how knowledge includes and excludes, and is shaped and built. Their separating lines provide me with a space to explore how forms can both shape and be shaped by structures, including ideological ones, such as the utopian promise of consumer culture. Each painting features the trace of a domestic object that appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. Their structures inspire analogy and give rise to metaphor and association, and are a counterpoint to the physicality of my bird sculptures, which were squeezed into the rectilinear formations of Tetra Paks. Allowable Forms and Unconscious Facts won the acquisitive Sunshine Coast Art Prize of $25,000. The prize, judged by Dr Campbell Gray, Director of the University of Queensland Art Museum, attracted wide media coverage with reviews in the Griffith News and Sunshine Coast News, and feature articles published in U on Sunday and Buzz Magazine. Artshub noted that Dr Gray selected Allowable Forms and Unconscious Facts as the winning artwork based on the complexity and ambiguity of the painting’s discourse, underpinned by the high level of painting craftsmanship. ‘The foundations of this work are based in the artist’s visual and theoretical awareness of art history together with extensive personal capacity in the craft of painting.’ Another painting, The Pollinator, was selected for the prestigious Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (9 June – 19 August 2018) with a 6.5 per cent success rate. Curator of International Art, AGNSW, Justin Paton, stated The Pollinator was chosen for its ‘intricate vision of painters cultivating their own gardens’.
painting, artist, cubist painting, futurist painting, contemporary painting, Australian painting, Australian artist, expanded painting, Bauhaus, entropy, honeyeaters, brushes, Peruvian textile
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Forms of Agency 2018 c3 Contemporary Art Space

1. The Pollinator is a painting by Madeleine Kelly featuring pumpkin flowers shown at the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize Milani Gallery
The Pollinator, 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
Allowable forms and unconscious facts is a painting by Madeleine Kelly, it won the 2018 sunshine coast art prize Milani Judge Dr Campbell Gray
Allowable forms and unconscious facts 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
3. The brush-tipped tongue of a honeyeater functions in the same way as a paint brush is a painting by Madeleine Kelly Milani Gallery
The brush-tipped tongue of a honeyeater functions the same way as a paint brush 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
2. How to look at a hexagon is a painting by Madeleine Kelly on army tarpaulin two people embrace shown C3 Contemporary art space Milani GalleryMadeleine Kelly How to look at a hexagon 2018 acrylic and oil on tarpaulin 115 x 125 cm
How to look at a hexagon 2018 acrylic and oil on tarpaulin 115 x 125 cm
How to look at a hexagon 2018, Acrylic and oil on polyester, 115 x 125 cm
Struggling with the honeyeaters is a painting by Madeleine Kelly about the earths carrying capacity shown C3 Contemporary art space Milani Gallery
Struggling with the honeyeaters 2018, Acrylic and oil on polyester, 137 x 101cm

Inspired by the symbolic elements and motifs that encode Peruvian textile imagery with meaning and compositional logic, these paintings evoke a sense of the known through their interconnected patterns and typological imagery. By working within the constraints of certain geometric patterns, I challenge myself to formally interlace richly complex ways of seeing and knowing. This iconographic system allows me to connect abstract, expressive and representational painting in such a way that inter-iconic relationships emerge and give rise to a multitude of different aesthetics. At times, resulting crystalline effects extend living forms into geology and the irregular geometry of my previous works. The paintings present structural affinities between the figures and their grounds that suggest forms of knowing are contingent on the conditions from which they emerge. The title of the exhibition – Forms of Agency – reflects this relationship between textiles, painting and agency.

 

The paintings hence bring disparate fields together via geometric abstraction. Geometric motifs suggest how knowledge includes and excludes, and is shaped and built. Their separating lines provide me with a space to explore how forms can both shape and are shaped by structures, including ideological ones, such as the utopian promise of consumer culture. Each painting features the trace of a domestic object that appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. Their structures inspire analogy and give rise to metaphor and association, and are a counterpoint to the physicality of my bird sculptures, which were squeezed into the rectilinear formations of Tetra Paks. The process of finding forms and weaving imagery into their patterns is my way of understanding the world, of continuously determining relations.

 

The Pollinator was initially inspired by the act of pollinating pumpkin flowers using my paintbrush. Afterwards I spent time admiring their forms while drawing them onto isomorphic paper. By making them conform to the triangular matrix their wilted petals appeared as sections of faceted crystal vessels or wombs, while their whole forms also reminded me of Giacomo Balla’s futurist flowers. The brush that enabled the flower to bear fruit was the same one that painted them. Yet in the image the brush appears as axe – as taker. The mineral and geometric structures allow the composition to grow like crystalline life forms. These structures become the vital life of the painting, crossing categories between human, plant and cultural object, while the doubling of archetypal figures and mythic architecture suggests genealogy and the fragmented mirroring of meaning through time.

 

Allowable forms and unconscious facts features the trace of a domestic oven that appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. Its structure inspires analogy and give rise to metaphor and association. Circular stovetop plates resemble an egg, eyes and breasts while a slumped head, confronted by an eyeball/balloon/sperm, points to a troubled developmental stage for humanity. Bodily connotations ride on domestic ones.

Gallery

c3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford VIC

Dates

31st January – 25 February, 2018