This exhibition is a selection from four series of paintings the artist has worked on since early 2019, each with distinct literary origins.
The MEANDER paintings are slow flowing labyrinthine maps, whose stacked lines are reminiscent of classical forms. They suggest patterns in the voice of composer-poet Chris Mann. The seemingly random gestures in the waxy surface transcribe fragments of meaning from Mann’s rapid-fire vernacular poetics. Examples of Chris Mann’s spoken-word can be found at the authors posthumous website, www.theuse.info.
In a similar way the SPEEDY paintings record the grain of the voice of poet-performer Ania Walwicz in several early and rare recordings of her reciting her poetry which were made by composer Rainer Linz in 1982. Each line follows the varied intonations and layered meaning of her dreamlike visions. The painter claims to have transcribed the emotion and shape of the poetry, tracing almost 500 meters of articulations.
The INTERVAL paintings are different types of transcriptions. They are inspired by the artist-book Just for Nothing created in collaboration with French writer Nathalie Sarraute in the late 1990s. This series of intricately textured, weave-like paintings are made by a regimented process of marking many thousands of over-laying lines in six different colours of oil wax. Their varying pathways of alternating density create veil like fields.
The series of 12 ANIAANIAANIA paintings, referred to by the artist as instructional painting, are a modular construction system that seeks to arrange and present all the possible variations of a scheme. A singular concrete poem – or a painted abstract poem – it is meant to be performed loudly, continuously and very quickly, yet in no specific order. The series is a remembrance of Ania Walwicz (1951-2020).
Ruark Lewis lives and works in Sydney. A writer as well as a visual artist, he produces work in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, installation, artist-books, public art, theatre, performances, audio and visual works. He often collaborates in a method he calls transcription (drawing) with other poets, experimental and radiographic composers, choreographers, anthropologists, language and visual artists and writers.