Michelle Kettle, Geelong: Exploration of a City

Geelong: Exploration of a City is a close up investigation of Geelong and it’s buildings. Some scenes may be instantly recognisable to those familiar with the city and others depict lesser seen aspects. Somewhat ‘unremarkable’ views are brought into new focus and explored in detail for their texture, light and colour.

Photography is an imperative part of my process as it allows me to explore and experiment with different crops, zooming in or out on details and framing these scenes with a new approach. Landing on the ‘correct’ composition or what I will inevitably use as a painting reference is sometimes a long and arduous process. Other times I’ll turn a (literal) corner and see the perfect frame there in front of me. This feeling is euphoric and addictive. It makes car journeys with me sometimes insufferable as I am always looking for the next painting and will do a u-turn if I see a nice shadow on a doorway. It’s best and safer if I conduct these expeditions on foot.

I choose a direct, face-on viewpoint as I enjoy the straight lines and geometry this creates. Without the heavy use of perspective, I rely on light and shade to gently push and pull these buildings into their three-dimensional form. This viewpoint also serves as documentation to a particular time and place, to encapsulate the here and now (even if I do often favour historical structures). Architectural drawings will always include a front or side elevation, and to some extent this is my contemporary interpretation of this practice. In essence, these are portraits of buildings.

Michelle Kettle is from Dublin, Ireland and studied ceramics at the National College of Art and Design. Upon graduating in 2009 she moved to Melbourne, where without access to a ceramic studio and kiln she began oil painting. This will be Michelle’s third solo exhibition at Boom, it has been incredible to engage with her interest in Australian architecture and watch her paintings evolve over the years.

To see the full listing click here. Geelong: Exploration of a City runs until August 11