From Carrie Miller…
Mark Hislop’s show The Inbetween deals with just that – a liminal zone where the relationship between spectator and subject retains a quality of mysteriousness that is so often lacking in conventional portraiture.
The exhibition presents a series of exquisitely drawn works on paper and mylar – an inert clear film which reads like a film cell – which continue Hislop’s fascination with portraiture both as an artistic genre and a site of conceptual investigation.
The striking thing about these portraits is that the subjects’ faces are turned away from the viewer’s gaze. Strangely, this subversion of conventional portrait technique – the idea that the spectator must be able to read the face, but specifically the eyes of the subject as these give us privileged access to an individual’s inner self – allows deeper meanings to reveal themselves while preserving a sense of the unknowable. The smallest gestures become psychologically amplified, both by the way we are refused access to the conventional ways of reading someone, and by the technical virtuosity with which Hislop renders his subjects.
There is an affecting potency in Hislop’s work that animates and elevates it above and beyond mere great photographic-realist images of people. Like his portraits, the source of that poetry remains enigmatic.
Until July 28
Michael Reid Elizabeth Bay
Pic: Courtesy the artist & Michael Reid Gallery