Perth-based artist Taylor Denning presents her second solo show ‘Ethereal’ at The Farm Margaret River.
Denning’s works are compellingly relevant, at a time when connection across boundaries means more than ever.
Autobiographically charged moments are represented with oil paint on canvas, each painting depicting a fragment of the landscape on her father’s property in the small wheatbelt town of Pingelly.
The works themselves are more atmospheric than realistic: they are emotional responses to the walks with her father, framed by the artists observations of the landscape as it shifts and changes in response to an often harsh climate. A conduit back to those precious moments, Denning’s paintings reinforce familial connection through a shared experience of the remote, isolated property. They speak of the higher forces of love, loneliness and the unknown, yet are grounded in the physical, the earth.
Tonal, buttery-rich abstractions of light and shade, Denning’s works are built up over weeks by layering oils in earthy tones, from ochres to greys. Ranging in scale from 23cm to 84cm, all works in this series are presented in a square format, to avoid associations with doors or windows; Denning does not want you to look for a horizon line.
“Square was a bit more ambiguous,” she says, “it is almost a portal.”
The artist aims to intrigue and hold the gaze. In contemplating these beautiful works, perhaps we each may find a moment to reflect on how we connect with those we love, whether near or far.
“I take photos of the ground with my iPhone, often trying to capture light and shadow or hints of colour in the earth. Back in the studio, I research the geology and flora of the images, and then start to experiment with layering paint and mixing different colours”. Taylor Denning
Words by Louella Hayes
Opening: Saturday 16 January, 4pm – 6pm
Exhibition: Sunday 17 January – Saturday 23 January, 10am – 1pm daily