After Image – Paul Hoban, and Orbit – Greg Geraghty

Aster image exhibition - Paul Hoban - Perphoria26 March – 18 April 2010

Greenaway Art Gallery
39 Rundle Street, Kent Town
T. +61 8 8362 6354
E. [email protected]

Paul Hoban’s semi-white paintings on white walls transport the viewer to a state of serenity. Your eyes travel over the synthetic polymer paint with black ink application and you are reminded of stillness, calmness, or a rhythmic ‘visual poetry’. The works are the experience of laying on a beach or lawn in stillness and looking up at a sunny, bright, cloudy sky and then closing your eyes for contemplation. Then the after image occurs, increasing the imagination.

The fine tears and stretches in the paint skins, only noticeable when one looks closer, give the works depth. The contrast ratio, from the darkest dark to the lightest light, is approximately 3:10, using the black ink only as an accent, giving the overall a softness, yet sharp effect. Viewed from the mezzanine floor the body of work seems to float off the wall due to the organic treatment of the painted side of the canvas, creating a space between the gallery wall and the surface of the paint skin.

All the works have a transcendent quality, tapping into the highest level of humanistic endeavours, with the not so noticeable scratch marks revealing, also, the fragility of human kind. These works could be said to appear as ‘portraits of the soul’. One is reminded of a contemporary Rothko, minus the colour, but read the same way.

The two exhibitions in the gallery complement each other, both experimenting with a psychological state after using a simplistic starting point: Geraghty the line and Hoban the afterimage, using process as a vehicle.

Geraghty achieves interesting effects by placing brushes in a drill for drawing the lines, in colours reminiscent of the old masters. In Orbit no. 1 – Orbit no. 12 a sense of Carl Jung’s mandalas is evident and a state of satisfaction in discovering the outcome of 3 dimensional tube-like lines, which project on a distant destination of circling around in contentment.

A previous exhibition of Geraghty showed high levels of skills in composing a visual image. This exhibition has jumped forward with chance, memory and imagination. As the artist writes on the back of his catalogue, “as a child taking home a bucket of sea water, to remind him of the sea.” That’s determination and the importance of memory. The exhibition filled the two back rooms with the different groupings of images, exploring the line and the reduction of images that are important to the artist.

Reviewed by Gina De Pieri Salvi, Glam Adelaide Visual Arts Critic.

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