Stacked, packed to the rafters, jammed full of stuff. In Lorna Grear’s new body of work surprising effects happen from the stacked paintings. Recycled plywood is used as grounds; painted and stacked to cause deeper spaces. Shadows move within the works. Meaning is inherent. Silhouettes are painted on tourist stencil templates of Australian fauna; possums, platypus and kangaroos. Once discarded, used now. The piles of plywood make the issue of space real: 3D. The viewer can travel into them.
Other stuff happens; heroic symbols meet Australiana. Hidden images are there, gallant heroes of a past era. The painting Gruner’s Spring Rainbow uses Elioth Gruner’s image, Spring Frost to re-visit a forgotten landscape. George Raper’s Waratah has also been referenced. There are others; Meere’s fabulous woman in his Beach Pattern, re- envisaged in, Purple Play. Von Guerard’s cloaked man in Northeast View from the Top of Mount Kosciusko is referenced in Guerard’s Traveller. In another, Brolgas from Spirit of the Plains move their way across stencil outlines and Rainbow Warrior brings Gruner’s cow into the pattern. In a playful and intuitive process ideas of place and identity are revealed.
Along side the discarded templates, left over packaging is also used. A shout to Rauschenberg, these cardboard boxes and plastic wraps have been used as canvas for paintings. They are displayed as a smorgasbord of miscellaneous ideas.
Colour too, is celebrated and falls easily into place. Sometimes the colour comes from an old T- Shirt design, other times it belongs to midnight; mostly it is intuitive and based on rhythms. The personal is hidden in the choice of colour.
As much as the work references Australian art history the idea remains abstract. Within this abstraction are contradictions of dualities. Baroque but minimal; formal yet easy; geometric and at the same time organic. It is no longer Formalist, no longer Hard Edge; it has Op Art references, even a Modernist theme. It could be old and new.
Lorna has held numerous solo shows including the Tailor Room Gallery,Sydneybetween 1998 – 2003 and Peloton in 2005 and 2009. She is a graduate of bothSydneyCollegeof the Arts and The National Art School. Lorna currently teaches art history and painting at South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE and is in the middle of curating an exhibition titled ‘The Baker’s Dozen’ for UTS Gallery in 2012.
-STACKED @ Peloton runs 24 November – 17 December 2011
Peloton Gallery 25 Meagher Street Chippendale,Sydney NSW 2008
Gallery hours: Thursday to Saturday 1-5pm