Sarah L Stewart
has titled her second solo exhibition with Nolan Gallery Conversations.
Anyone who makes art knows that the writing, music or visual art that comes from a creative person is always a dialogue. At the end of the process is the conversation between the viewer and the work itself, one where both tell their stories back and forth, enriching the life of the consumer.
The process of creating is likewise a discourse. Some artists work hard to erase this and aim to present a perfect product, where the brushstrokes are smooth, the edges refined. This is not usually the way of the abstract artist, particularly one working to express the archaeological layers of her past and present sandwiched within the spaces she inhabits. Indigenous art opened our eyes to the beauty of the painted path, a visual map of action and decisions taken and we see this in Sarah’s work, as delicate lines are drawn through ambiguous space, counterpointed with scraffito that scratches down through the layers.
Each painting is titled for a piece of conversation, perhaps overheard or even uttered by the artist that is the pictorial starting point. From there the use of subtle colour allows the creation of a fictitious space within the painting which acts a little like an ant nest on the ground where the paths of living are mapped and the course of the days given form. Staccato mark making expresses speech in some works and every now and then forms that evoke boats, rocks or lollies appear. The viewer is taken into the air for a birds eye view and then taken back to the surface to swim or walk between buildings, sometimes in the same work. This is a poetic expression of the complexity of being in beautifully painted form by an artist whose work is elegant and mature.