Painting Revealed is an invitational exhibition featuring four emerging local painters. These artists span vastly different approaches to paint, from the lightness of raw gestural mark making, to sculpted surfaces of thick paint and wax, to the precision of representational oil painting. Across the distinctive painting processes, a fascination with what lies beneath prevails throughout – a desire to expose what preceded, to leave traces of evidence, or a key to decipher what is presented on the painted surface. Within their works each artist uniquely and deliberately accentuates what is masked or covered.
Ruby Brown’s practice has consistently mined through the textural possibilities of detritus. For this series, objects are bound and smothered in velvet – concealed and primed for exploitation. Oil and wax is forced and absorbed into the fabric directed by the undulations of the object beneath. Marks and lacerations are made with fingers, hands, brushes, and utensils, repetitively scraping and ultimately revealing the original form. This series sees a dramatically reduced palette. For Brown, the union and separation of blackness and whiteness provides a means to explore ideas of containment and oppression. Through her methods of erasure, her painting process ultimately reveals the crude beginnings of her paintings and skilfully accentuates the characteristics of the varied surfaces she employs.
Ruby Brown (Ngā Puhi) Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, Ruby Brown is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include Finding, Rubicon ARI, 2014; and Multi-Purpose Gap Filler, c3 Contemporary Art Space, 2016. Group exhibitions include I is Another, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, 2015; and Sutton Projects Melbourne. She currently lives and works in Melbourne.
Eleanor Louise Butt’s practice has continued to look at the intangibility of sensations and moments spent alone in landscape. Her paintings seamlessly read as both geological and astrological and her choice of medium is as important as the forms and marks depicted. Linen ground is prominently revealed, and its coarsely woven texture and ochre tone alludes to the land, indicative of strands of grass or rocky crevices. This series of minimal abstractions feature black voids taking the shape of boulders or planets sitting amongst scattered gestural markings. Butt revels in the gestural acts of mark-making and her over-painting, erasures, and use of negative space are tactile responses which create a narrative throughout her process driven works.
Eleanor Louise Butt graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours. Her recent solo exhibitions include after-image, Fort Delta, Melbourne, 2015; Time Circles, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, 2015; and Hell Hole, c3 Contemporary Art Space, 2010. Her works have been exhibited at Bus Projects; Blindside; Wellington St. Projects; Boom Gallery; Rubicon Ari; George Paton Gallery; and Margaret Lawrence Gallery.
For Ann Debono, representational paintings are uniquely paradoxical objects. It is the fraught translation of virtuality into materiality that drives her practice. Debono’s paintings consistently feature snapshots of pavements, worn concrete, gravel, and surfaces that for her are examples of an inscribed world that abounds with signs and meanings. Her new works meld realism with abstraction, each references photographs of shopfronts that are covered up from within using plastic sheets, cardboard, newspaper and tape to indicate that the retail space is not in use at that time. When a shopfront is concealed, what is ‘presented’ is the withdrawal of presentation, the refusal to display the object – yet the shopfront window’s effectiveness is not broken, it still ‘displays’ this withdrawal. Debono likens these shopfronts to the experience of approaching a painting, where one apprehends the absence of what is depicted as well as its likeness. The painting hanging on the wall indexes simultaneously as a site of presence and as a site of absence.
Kate Tucker’s new series of paintings subvert order. Echoing her background in digital manipulation, Tucker employs multiple layers in her work in the form of patchwork, paint and more directly, digitally printed canvas. Her textured ground and initial marks remain consciously exposed and in this way her pathway to the final work is revealed. The complex use of materials and processes, are re-animated into unexpected contexts, as Tucker allows the stitches, folds and variations in surface to guide the beginnings of her paintings, providing an instant sense of potentiality. Tucker acknowledges that her chosen medium of traditional oil painting imposes substantial physical limitations, yet this only spurs her desire to be unrestricted by the edges of the canvas and eradicate all consciousness of the finished work. Kate Tucker received a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2009. She has held recent solo exhibitions at Chapter House Lane; Art Stage Singapore; Rubicon ARI; c3 Contemporary Art Space; and Platform Public Art Space. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at LON Gallery; SPRING 1883 with Dutton Gallery; Caves; Linden New Art; c3 Contemporary Art Space; and Bus Projects. She was a finalist in the Albany Art Prize; Bayside Acquisitive Art prize; The Churchie Emerging Art Prize; Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards; and The Archibald Prize