As soon as I opened the large impenetrable wooden doors of Sutton Gallery and stepped inside, I let out a small gasp.
Large minimal abstract paintings filled the walls of the main gallery. They had such a sudden appeal to me, and as if they had their own natural gravitational pull, I glided my way towards them, eyes leading body.
I stood far from them at first. Then walked close to them, inspecting the colours, the textures and the application of paint. Then I walked back again, then forward, then back and then forward. I could have kept on doing this forever! The iPhone-taken photos do no justice whatsoever.
What appealed to me the most was the dark, subtle, almost atmospheric nature of the paint applied to the background. The ever shifting changes in tone, in texture and warmth kept my eyes moving across the canvas.
Then, as to break my wandering eyes, right in the middle of the painting a hard line of various blues, pinks, yellows, whites and violet is painted extremely flatly against the soft background.
The contrast between the colours and the texture of the dark hazy background with the hard edged shapes of bright colours is just incredible to look at.
These paintings are part of Rosslynd’s Night series. The dark hazy backgrounds of the paintings mimic the subtle tonal variations of a night sky and are absolutely beautiful.
The above painting is called Night – 24 hours. The painting consists of a similar hard line that stretched across the entire painting. I found this piece quite remarkable because the line that runs through the painting represents a swatch of colours of the sky as it moves between the blue of day and the deep back of night in a space of 24 hours. There is such a beautiful sense of poetry in these works.
In this exhibition, Rosslynd presents us with three kinds of paintings. Firstly, the Night series (as shown above), a series of cloud and black hole paintings and series of mirror paintings.
On the back wall, the series of Cloud Window & Black Hole works are presented together. As I stared at the wall of canvases, I found my eyes dance across the wall as my eyes rested briefly on each black circle. The fact that they were different sizes created an incredible visual experience. It was as if I was seeing spots and I could feel my eyes dilating! (Again, photo below does no justice – you really need to stand in front of them)
Cloud Window & Black Hole series
At this point I was pretty sure that you had to buy this series of works as a whole, as opposed to just buying each individual canvas. But I found out from Ali that each of these works were sold separately. I don’t know why you’d just buy one of them as the experience of seeing them together like this was what made the work work for me.
Cloud Window & Black Hole series
The other works presented consisted of a series of mirror paintings. Sutton Gallery describes these paintings “simultaneously attract and repel, as the viewer attempts to make out their blurred reflection in the fluid surfaces before them. A further tension is created between the strong material presence of the panels and the fleeting quality of the light which plays across their contrasting surfaces.”
This definitely was true. I mean, look at us!
I very much love this new body of work and has really made me excited about painting again. Definitely worth checking out when you’re next in Fitzroy for that 3pm breakfast. Or come especially.