From Sharne Wolff…
In the past few years, Louisa Chircop’s profile as a surrealist painter has taken off. After winning the 2013 Fisher’s Ghost James Gleeson Surrealism Award the artist hasn’t looked back. Several threads run through Chircop’s latest show, A Penny for My Thoughts, but none so powerful as her use of human arms and hands – perhaps taking her impulse from art historical works like René Magritte’s The Magician 1952. Chircop’s dreamlike oil on canvas portraits both challenge the viewer’s perception and provide subtle clues to discover personal narratives. Treading a nice balance that is neither melancholic nor offhand, her wistful subjects draw the viewer in without becoming overly sentimental.
A number of works on paper are also exhibited. Some are watercolours while others are composed of mixed media in variations of pencil, gouache, liquid pencil and photomontage (drawn mainly from the pages of National Geographic). Employing unoccupied space and spare marks Chircop’s chance encounters and poignant moments float and emerge from her self-described “thinking drawings”. The artist says she is fascinated with the idea of providing the viewer with ideas that present “a liberal state of the human consciousness intertwined with subterranean thought.” In other words, feel free to make of these works what you will.
Until February 28
A–M Gallery, Newtown
Pic: Louisa Chircop, Crossroads, 2014. Oil on canvas, 76.5 x 92cm. Courtesy the artist and A–M Gallery.