Subtropical

by Victoria Bladen

Solo exhibition of paintings and mixed media artworks. Exhibition details: contact Victoria 3876 0936 | victoria.bladen@uqconnect.edu.au

Art Exhibition previously on at Percolator Gallery in Australia.
From Wednesday 24 June 2009 to Tuesday 30 June 2009
Launch Friday 26 June 2009, 6-9pm

Turtle image

Published by PercolatorGallery on Tuesday 24 March 2009.
Contact the publisher.

Artist’s Statement:

Subtropical, my second solo exhibition, represents the art I’ve created since moving to Brisbane six years ago from Perth. It is a mixed collection of oil and acrylic paintings, together with a number of mixed media collages. There is a strong aquatic theme running throughout, reflecting a deep interest in the rhythms of life in and around water. Most of the paintings use strong saturated colour schemes, organic shapes and brushstrokes and aim for a sense of movement and flow. They range from the figurative to the semi-abstract and expressionistic. I like to think of the spaces created in the works as places for the mind to rest and dream for a while, immersed in states that are both familiar and mysterious, recreations of nature that verge on the mythic.

Many of the paintings reflect natural landscapes I’m interested in: the coast, the river, an olive grove on my parents-in-law’s farm at Kalbar, and the trees that are part of the creek area near our house in Toowong. The tree imagery reflects a love of Brisbane’s subtropical vegetation, together with an interest in the history and myth surrounding trees (the subject of my recent Ph.D. research, on tree of life imagery, at the University of Queensland).

The mixed media collages and altered books reflect my interest in old, dusty, forgotten fragments and the new life that can be given to them when reframed and collected in different ways. Each of the collages is built up over a long period of time, often a year, with pieces collected including: vintage photos from specialty shops in Paris, old letters and postcards, treasures found in Toowong garage sales, shells, flotsam and jetsam on the toy-room floor, and feathers found on walks. Evocative pieces suggest meanings and viewers can make up their own narratives from such collages.

Overall I like to think of my art as responding to different aspects of life’s beauty. It reflects the joy that I feel and see in others around me, and is created with a sense of deep gratitude for being part of life’s flow for a short and precious time.