Layla Rudneva-Mackay, [Untitled}, 2018. Oil on canvas, 100 x 120cm. Courtesy: the artist and Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland.
Starkwhite presents ACC bcc Bananas
by Layla Rudneva-Mackay.
There is a long tradition of artists turning to their immediate surroundings for materials with which to make their work – the contents of a room, the street, or the city are muses to many. For Rudneva-Mackay this new body of work signals a life changed and stands as a testimony to her desire to paint during a period of extreme physical pain. A consequence of invasive post-natal medical procedures, the artist says she “can no longer be in the world like I used to.” While parenthood alters almost everything about a life so does the experience of pain and medical misadventure.
Although looking at this new work through the lens of pain is almost inevitable, Rudneva-Mackay’s ability to create lush and active painterly surfaces from soft tones and also vibrant colour remains. Some images are direct, clear, and explicit, others geometricised or abstracted, presenting bold form against shallow ground in free, dynamic brushstrokes. While her practice has often presented ambiguous moments or poetic fragments that offer a hint of darkness and mystery, this narrative is now fully developed. Fruit becomes a vehicle for dark thoughts and dark feelings while an abundance of gestural clues exist for those wishing to read meaning into form.
The gallery is open to the public following the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions in NZ.
This exhibition can also be viewed on the gallery website. View exhibition here.
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