Cloud studies

Five Walls Gallery 12 April – 1 May 2021

112 days of enforced isolation.

Unable to see the ocean, the sky became increasingly resonant, a beautiful and seemingly endless space for connection and contemplation during confinement. Infinite openness. Looking up thinking of Constable and Delacroix, and then all of the other clouds: bushfire smoke, radiation, toxic. Changing light. A quiet sky without vapour trails.

In my studio, I continued to draw, continued to make things. Mark making with charcoal, etching needles and other tools creating drypoint lines drawn in cotton rag paper. Scratches and weathering, intricate textures inspired by the landscape, walls and battle-scarred sharkskin. Always thinking of the ocean. Gentle colour gradations: grey, white, blue and black. Grids. Rhythm and texture. Tension between softness of materials, and fuzzy precise geometric constructions: repetitive, painstaking, physical work. Making and unmaking. Visibility and invisibility. Reflecting. Beauty at the edge of nothingness.

Cloud Studies takes its title from the seven small collages/drawings in the exhibition, in the same way an album may be titled after a particular song. Beauty at the edge of nothingness is a quote from Leonard Koren. You’ll find it on page 49 of Wabi-Sabi Further Thoughts (Imperfect Publishing, 2015).