Presented by Art Images Gallery
Reviewed 24 April 2016
Texture is king in the Art Images Gallery’s latest exhibition of Australian artists.
It’s easy to be drawn in by the bright colours and shimmering waves of the works on display this month and then, once you are close enough, a whole new layer of meaning begins to appear. In almost every piece, there is a hidden world of form, texture and colour that you can only enter by getting up close and personal with the artworks.
From a couple of feet away, the surface of Tiffany Kingston’s paintings are super-flat, geometric and vibrant with an almost picture-book quality. Up close, however, you can see that the simple flowery shapes that she creates are actually made up of various layers, masked and carved out from the foreground to reveal a kaleidoscope of colour from behind.
Kingston commands splotches and splashes with confidence, turning messiness into a very organised and clean looking product. The chaos of colour all comes together to form neat forests of fantastical trees and flowers that any one would like to get lost in, I’m sure. Overall though, the work on display is all of a fairly similar nature, with no real stand-outs among the collection.
Stephen Skillitzi’s intricate and flowing glass panels are utterly captivating, but face a similar problem. All sitting together in the same, clean room, they blend in with one another. Taken out of the collection and studied intently, though, these pieces are amazingly detailed and beautiful. The panels covered in faces are eerie in a way, acting almost as religious or spiritual objects that capture the soul of the subjects in physical form.
As a plus as well, they do make beautiful patterns on the ground as the light hits them! Skillitzi’s glass works are almost like water or crystal-filled jelly made solid. His coloured works are jazzy and energetic, while remaining, of course, completely inanimate.
Behind this room of hidden chaos and living jelly is a collection of works by Tracy Dods, most featuring, oddly, businessmen, judges and and barristers enjoying some rather gloomy days on the Australian beach-front.
Dods’ works are much flatter than the other artists’ but remain just as interesting. She blends highly-detailed realism (some of the faces seem to have pores and individual hairs) mixed with an almost Dali-esque surreal stretching and manipulation of form. The bodies blend with the grey beaches, with colourful spades and buckets as the only symbols of fun. Dods’ biggest piece, Radiance, is almost luminescent in contrast to these grey images. The acrylic waves are stunning and realistic, but somehow unearthly also.
The three artists on display could not have more clashing styles but, at the same time, it all seems to click. Though all the works can be somewhat monotonous together, taken in individually they are all uniquely interesting.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Venue: Art Images Gallery, 32, The Parade, Norwood
Season: 8 April – 8 May
Image: Tiffany Kingston, Rock Pool, Acrylic on Canvas, 80x200cm