By Stella Rosa McDonald
The scientist in her laboratory relies on the reputability of procedure and technique. The artist in her studio does the same. The scientist in her laboratory crafts the answer to suit the question. The artist in her studio does the same. The scientist in her laboratory removes all variables to test what she suspects is true. The artist in her studio does the same. Both know that by making all things equal, the nature of a material will appear in stark relief. Between the scientist and the artist there are many parallels, not the least of which is an inquiring mind.
Emulating the precision and restraint of a scientific experiment, Suzie Idiens’ most recent series of modular paintings are concerned with controlling the nuances of scale, material and process in order to reveal the mutability of a single colour – black. The uniformity of Idiens’ all black palette is broken up by her application of textured, high-gloss and matte finishes to the surface of the works, giving rise to works of surprising variation that push at the boundaries of painting and sculpture. Despite the carbon cast of All things being equal, the colour spectrum perseveres in the play of light and the distorted shadows reflected across many of the surfaces, while the layered treatment of materials and the subtle use of contouring give the sense that we are seeing an inside view of negative space. Amongst all this darkness Idiens has formally arranged one work to appear as an equals sign, reminding us that even in the fabrication of equivalence no one thing remains the same.
Until July 27th
Gallery 9, Darlinghurst
Pic: Suzie Idiens, Untitled # 9, 2014. MDF, polyurethane. 36 x 175 x 8 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 9.