Material Witness

My first exhibition since October 2012, “Material Witness”, opens on  22 July,  at Exhibitions Gallery of Fine Art, 19A Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland.

Preview: Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 6pm – 8pm.  If you are in Auckland, please join us  (to RSVP please email the gallery auckland@exhibitionsgallery.co.nz)  –  everyone’s welcome.

You can check out this link to the gallery for a sneak preview of the works on show!  And please pass on the invitation to your friends.

The exhibition runs from 22 July to 17 August 2014.  See you there!

"Most Secret and True", Ruth Phipps, 2014, oil on linen, 710mm x 560mm

“Most Secret and True”, Ruth Phipps, 2014, oil on linen, 710mm x 560mm

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Surrender to the muse

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I’ve been thinking about my obsession with draped fabrics, and how it is I keep revisiting the fold and fall, shadow and drape of cloth.

Isabel Allende described how she becomes obsessed with a theme or with certain stories that stay with her, that haunt her, until she writes them.   She just has to write them, she says – she has learnt to surrender to the muse.  

 

Meditations on light

 

Sacrament, Ruth Phipps 2012

Oil on canvas, 600mm x 1100mm

 

I love people!  Some of my best friends are people…

 

but seriously, it’s a truly wonderful thing, this ‘being’ – I believe life is sacred, and it’s fleeting.

Fabric is inextricably connected with every moment of human life, and  in my paintings I explore this connection.

Life nurtured: the moment we are born we are wrapped and swaddled

Life celebrated: we mark life’s most important events with special fabrics

Life ended: the shroud bestows dignity and marks our respect

 

you may have heard this Maori proverb, it’s my favourite

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

 

 

Musing on things Deep and Meaningful

Sanctify

Oil on Linen

500mm x 1200mm

Finding sanctuary

Sanctum [a private place where one if free from intrusion]


Oil on marouflaged linen, ovato tondo, 300mm x 400mm


How to find creative freedom? Virginia Woolf offered her opinion: a woman must have money and a room of her own…


I love her description of what it feels like when you’re in that space. She visited Oxford University to seek inspiration:


“The spirit of peace descended like a cloud from heaven, for if the spirit of peace dwells anywhere, it is in the courts and quadrangles of Oxbridge on a fine October morning. Strolling through those colleges past those ancient halls the roughness of the present seemed smoothed away; the body seemed contained in a miraculous glass cabinet through which no sound could penetrate, and the mind, freed from any contact with facts … was at liberty to settle down upon whatever meditation was in harmony with the moment.”

 

 

Shamal

Warm winds blowing fabric

Shamal” -warm desert wind

Oil on Marouflaged Linen

200mm x 400mm

Did you ever tie a knot in your handkerchief?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Remembrance”

Oil on marouflaged Linen

Ovato Tondo 300mm x 400mm

 

When I was a child, my Grandmother told me to tie a knot in my hanky to remember.  I might not remember why I tied the knot, but  I think of her every time.

When I began painting drapery it was because I was exploring traditions and memories passed from one generation to the next, and using fabrics as symbols of that.  I found that these fabrics became loaded with symbolism well beyond my personal memories. They can be seen as intimate and personal, but also universal and timeless.

My Grandmother has long since gone, but the love, the traditions, the memories linger… happily.

 

Keep the Noise Down

Image

Oil on Canvas,

“Shafts of light will fall,

move slowly down your wall,

come to rest on last night’s pile of clothes”

Greg Johnson

Works on Paper

Next week we open a new exhibition at Railway Street:  Works on Paper!  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other artists come up with, but in the mean time, here’s one of my works:

Fabric Study: Willow and Compressed Charcoal on Leonardo 600g paper

Doing works on paper can be frustrating for me when I’m used to using oils on canvas, (and my watercolors have long-since dried in their tubes) , but I love the raw immediacy of charcoal… and it’s a great way to get to know the subject before working up a larger painting.

Refrain

Oil on Canvas

Refrain (n) –  It’s a musical term, meaning the repeating lines, phrase or verse.  A song, a melody.  A repeated theme.

I’ve been painting a series of works inspired, amongst other things, by the music I listen to as I paint.  Baroque and Sacred Chants have been a favorite for some time, and fit wonderfully with the dramatic, almost spiritual quality of light in some of my paintings.

My work has been about human presence, absence, memory and traditions, and ‘Refrain’ (v)  is visually represented by the space, the knot, and the separation in the folds.

And I want to mention a fellow artist, also…

Passive Aggressive by Paul Screach

Congratulations to Paul Screach, his work “Passive Aggressive” has just been acquired by Sir James Wallace for his collection.   This is a huge honor, and we are all very proud of you Paul,  Well done.  There’s a link to Paul’s work and The James Wallace Trust art collection under the “Fellow Artists” tab above.  Paul currently has an exhibition of his recent work at Railway Street Studios.