From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Using familiar techniques and materials (digital enlargements, tissue paper and acrylic paint) Michelle Collocott’s Signature finds the artist embarking on a new process of refined representation in which experience, as always, is the foundation of the work. As a series, Signature recalls Agnes Martin’s gridded minimalism, read closely the paintings reveal that they are composed from an enduring correspondence between the artist and a friend. The epistolary form enables Collocott to consider the archive of the self: an enduring subject that is prone to regular modification and transformation.
Signature is an elegant chronology and signals the beginning of a process of paring back for Collocott, who has always been drawn to the restraint of white paintings and the complex material form of the written word and is now readying herself to move from the city to the country. The palette of orange, yellow and white evokes striated deposits of sandstone, marble and clay, an incidental geology that is mirrored by the layers of correspondence. The cropped, abstracted and disembodied text, enveloped in parcels of acrylic paint, reminds us that the archive is always ready to be taken out and reassembled at will. But can we ever really enter into a truthful correspondence with our past?
Until August 9
Janet Clayton Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Michelle Collocott, Signature No.7, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 121 x 121cm. Image Courtesy of the artist and Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney