14 March 2012 - 14 April 2012

Brett Colquhoun, Spirit


Spirit is a solo exhibition of two distinct bodies of work by Brett Colquhoun. The exhibition furthers Colquhoun's examination of elusive subject matter such as absence, displacement and the nether-space that exists between presence, memory and objects.

Colquhoun's lightness of touch results in paintings and drawings that exude a strange and elegant mystery. Forever in search of ways to articulate states of being, moments in time and ways of seeing the world, Colquhoun produces moments of introspection where figurative elements provide a way into more timeless and profound issues.

Expanding upon works presented at Sutton Gallery's Project Space in 2011, Breath 2012 depicts six landscapes viewed through a window. With hazy, blurred central areas conveying the effect of warm breath on glass, these images express a human presence or sign of life. This effect is achieved by rubbing back, or erasing, the image so that, as the breath appears, the scene behind evaporates. The entire landscape appears to slowly grow fainter and disintegrate, which Colquhoun describes as a ‘metaphor for memory and life fading'.

The Invisible 2011 is a series of drawings and paintings which extend the idea of erasure. Inspired by a painting of the same name that Colquhoun completed in 1991, this new body of work employs techno-scientific imagery to explore the spatial relations between an art object and its viewer. The original work depicts a radar grid rendered in white lines on a black ground. The position of the viewer on a radar screen is normally located at the central axis and in Colquhoun's earlier painting this area is blacked-out, to essentially erase the viewer from the work. The current works, in contrast, place the blacked out circular form (the viewer) moving away from the central position, indicating time passing as the light beam traverses the screen. The radar form re-enters Colquhoun's imagery as though transported through time and appearing here and now within its own new incarnation.


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View artist profile: Brett Colquhoun

Artwork from exhibition by Brett Colquhoun,