What’s as challenging as painting really large? That would have to be forcing grand scale ideas into a small box. That’s what I did earlier this year with fellow artists Larissa MacFarlane and Ilona Nelson. The Hobsons Bay City Council’s Orbital space consists of four light boxes and a tiny peephole. Working together with Orbital curator, Heather van Heerwaarden, we put together Three-In-One.
We are three artists with quite diverse ways of working and had worked together before in the onefourfour project, curated by Ilona Nelson. However, we grappled with how to tie the works together in the relatively small spaces where one work couldn’t help but relate to the next given their close proximity. We agreed to use a common colour – blue, to tie our works together.
With the largest and the smallest spaces allocated to me (yes, I got the peephole – score!) I started work. I created an insert for the large light box and painted on it, treating it like a miniaturised room with a glass front. A slash of royal blue flows down the back of the box, across its floor and then up onto the inside of the glass and this together with gestures of blue, grey and orange make a three dimensional painting with multiple vantage points.
The peephole had me stumped for a period. At less than two inches in diameter it gives a view of a small box. Throughout the recent months I had been working in watercolour and exploring gestures resembling lettering but was more about the impulsive gestures than writing. Knowing I’d need something extra tiny for the peephole, I started making tiny paintings and then a tiny concertina artist book, recalling some earlier artist books.
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