From Sharne Wolff…
In Tanya Chaitow’s painting Moon Mirror, a hybrid creature – a tallish feathered owl who walks on oversize feet – diligently cradles a glowing yellow moon while traversing a sky-like floor. Two more owl-like souls, dressed in an assortment of formalish clothes, stand solemnly one behind the other. While neither of the onlookers gives any clear indication of the mission, both stand by with quizzically ambiguous looks.
Chaitow introduces dreamlike narratives in her exhibition Moon Days. Whimsical landscapes that feature curious trees and odd-shaped rocks are populated by an array of animals – several distinctive deer, a parliament of owls, a few bats, and a parrot. This intriguing crowd populate her works alongside wispy human figures and oversize angels that float and pop up in fantastic pastel places. Like George Orwell’s characters in Animal Farm –the more you look from the outside it becomes impossible to say whether Chaitow’s bunch are more human or animal. The effect of viewing these paintings is like listening to a fairy tale. With one foot in the Gothic and the other in the now, magic happens while viewers are seduced into a cryptic and uncertain story of their own making.
Until December 14
Stella Downer Fine Art, Waterloo.
Pic: Tanya Chaitow, Moon Light, 2013. Acrylic on board 12.5 x 35 cm. Courtesy the artist and Stella Downer Fine Art.