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Amber Stokie / Sarah Kelk
5 December 2019 - 23 December 2019
Amber Stokie / And So It Goes
“This body of work is about moments: moments of support, moments of togetherness, moments of quiet ritual, moments of love and intimacy within relationships. We have control over the frequency and nature of these moments, we decide who and how we are with others. In today’s disordered and increasingly chaotic world, this acknowledgment seems pertinent and important. I appropriated the title And So It Goes from the love song written by Billy Joel in 1983. A song about emotional vulnerability and compliance in love’s journey.
The ideas in my work are gathered from different sources: my own life experience, music, images from the internet and observation of others. I try not to put boundaries around source material or medium and I don’t work with studies which is why stylistically there is variation in my work. Once I have a basic idea of what I want to achieve, my intention is to get the marks down quickly. Mapping out the composition within the first hour helps to retain what it is that initially inspired me and preserves the energy in the work. Layering and enhancing colour then becomes the focus. Throughout this recent series my work has become more suggestive and less literal as my explorations lead me to a place where figure and landscape merge.
David Hockney and Katherine Braford’s use of colour, Amy Silliman’s mark making, more specifically her work with couples, Marlene Dumas’s portraits and looseness in her work. Above is just a small example of the artists who have inspired me in recent times in terms of how they work with paint. I’ve worked with video and performance in the past so there are many artists not listed whose approaches have influenced previous work.”
Amber Stokie is a Geelong based artist known for her figurative paintings on paper and canvas. Drawing from real and imagined situations where bodies connect and interact, Stokie explores themes that interest her about positive human interaction such as togetherness, balance and harmony. The Heightened feelings of interdependence and separation are experiences that Stokie can engage with (as a triplet) and considers in her work.
“My background includes performance, video and text which have proven to be a perfect fit for what I want to communicate about relationships especially throughout my recent MFA journey, however what I find intoxicating about paint is the way in which it allows me to work in the studio – ferociously and always in a state of change. Paint simply excites me, I like my medium of choice to not only suit the content which is important, but also be a good fit for the way I naturally like to work.”
The importance of our personal connection to a landscape is often overlooked, but landscapes – and more specifically, the light that surrounds these places – can elicit powerful emotional responses. Letting In The Light by Sarah Kelk explores this idea with a raw and brutal energy.
We all interpret landscapes differently based on experience, intuition and connectedness, and this influences how and why we are drawn to certain places. Some days, the landscapes surrounding us evoke a feeling of sadness, yearning or emptiness. On other days, all we feel is beauty and hope. It is this unpredictable and ever-changing train of thought that ties us to the natural environment where cycles begin and end in constant rotation.
These works reflect Kelk’s connection to the world around her; her emotional response to landscapes significant to her; and the role that light plays in her life, through colour and tone.
There is a lack of wide views in the works, which creates a sense of emptiness. This is contrasted by dense layers and detailed blocks of colour, communicating a definite liveliness and energy. And while there are no obvious landscapes depicted in each painting, a sense of familiarity and nostalgia somehow emerges from the shapes that fold into, and over, each other. While we all hold our own personal experiences tied to ‘place’, a single landscape has the beautiful power of meaning more than one thing, to many different people. These experiences can be open and shared, or kept immensely private for moments of solitary reflection and light.
Sarah Kelk is a Melbourne based painter whose work is expressive, colourful and abstract. Energised blocks of colour are central to her work and although traces of structure appear, references to decorative arts, patterns, architecture and nature are visible in a less ordered energy.
Her approach is fluid and intuitive, exploring bold structure without abandoning the organic energy that appears at the beginning of each piece. Sarah submits herself to the processes and influences simultaneously, harmoniously not losing one idea to the other, but rather connecting them in a new narrative.
Sarah is based in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in the South Island of New Zealand. She has exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions as well as partaking in several collaborative projects. Her work has appeared in publications such as Frankie Magazine, The Design Files, Belle Magazine and Vogue Living. She loves the idea of building up a narrative, layer by layer.
Exhibitions runs 5 December – 23 December
Opening Celebrations Saturday the 7th December, 1 pm-3 pm
For information on the current exhibition and for a full listing of the works head to:
We are more than happy to facilitate interviews with the artists or provide additional hi-res images and information on request. We hope to see you at the opening or during the exhibition.