Shelley McKenzie’s vibrant paintings explore the notion of art making itself, with physical process and sensory experience integral to her practice and aesthetic outcomes. Each painting is layered with colour, form and line, incorporating the artist’s internal and external worlds.
At times it seems like the internal and external environments merge – these latest works take elements from the domestic environment and merge them with the natural world. A footed offering bowl from Bali on the kitchen table and a precious orange glass bowl that once belonged to my mother-in –laws mother make repeat performances for their beautiful shapes and colours. Other forms that are repeated include a table crafted by my son, and the speckle of the terrazzo floor in our house.
Different perspectives and points of view are held within each work with only a passing nod to realism, rather an attempt to find the presences of things organised in space.
Living in the bush gives the sense of literally being in the bush – the house nests amongst the scrubby enveloping acacias and iron-barks. Despite the beauty there is always the tension of bushfire so a lack of walls can mark defencelessness and exposure and the water tanks an optimistic and necessary accompaniment to our lives. The ephemeral clutter of domestic life is engulfed by the insistence of the natural world.
Inside Out runs October 12 – November 4. To see a full exhibition listing see here.