- Acrylic on Arches paper.
- 59.4 x 42cm
About the Art in Suspense Series
2011 was a tumultuous year for me. In December 2010 I’d made the decision to move from Perth to Sydney, to be closer to all the galleries and exhibitions I could only read about on the West Coast. A Pluviophile at heart, I’d also had enough of the endless, sweltering summers and felt a strong “calling” East, by no one in particular….perhaps just my future self.
Over the next couple of months I spent daylight hours extricating myself from everything tying me to Perth….leases, contracts…. relationships that had outlasted their season… and my nights on a series of large, graphite drawings that (to me at least) were so beautiful, I wondered how I’d ever do anything better.
I have 6 more drawings in this series I will be listing in coming weeks – please keep an eye out for them.
Tu began life in the physical world in late 2010, as a drawing of a memory, of glamorous Chinese movie star, Maggie Cheung, who I’d seen in the foyer of the Orchard Hotel in Singapore, during a holiday I’d taken in 1987. A star-struck and highly impressionable 23 year old, the memory stayed with me for 23 years before I put pencil to paper. Two decades on, the details of her face had begun to blur, as you can see from the imprecise face in the original drawing. I could have found photographs on the internet to reference, but it wasn’t her physical appearance I wanted to convey so much as how I had felt, being in the exact right place at the exact right time to witness something so illusive… like a curl of smoke, seen for a second then gone.
In early 2011 I moved to Sydney, fell into the corporate rabbit hole and Tu was left in a state of suspended animation for almost 9 years, along with several other works in this series.
Returning to Tu earlier this month, after such a long time, I wanted her to grow and change as I have. I looked at the original drawing for some time and realised Rothko was the path to follow. Athough the colours are not in “fields” yet…. they are slowly disintegrating and will blur into nearby hues like memories over time. As leaves fall away, they will be absorbed back into red and yellow fields of pure colour. Reds will return to red, and pink also. Greens and yellows will meld across glorious sun-covered planes.
Like the Big Bang in reverse, everything beautiful will be drawn back to the source of all beauty.