Auraflux at Art Systems Wickham
by Clare Weeks
On first walking into the gallery Art Systems Wickham to view the exhibition Auraflox by partners Peter Speight and Ahn Wells, I am immediately greeted by Peter Speight’s sculptural musings. Seductively humorous these works could have served as a distraction when teamed up with any other artists’ work, but not Ahn Wells’ whose pinpricked drawings and paintings constantly astound me. These works, a combination of precision and unaffected style strike me, not at the heart, but always in my head and I am often left looking at Ahn with what must seem like a face filled with both confusion and admiration.
The patience required to create such intricate markings, often in grid formation, lines that go horizontal then vertical, is to Wells part and parcel and has become a marker itself of her style. In this particular exhibit a new bright blue emerges and works harmoniously with her otherwise neutral palette. This blue piece in particular is mesmerizing as with each prick of the pin a small amount of the once white paper emerges from beneath the vivid depth of colour.
Ahn once said to me that a work is not finished until it is finished, advice which I always take with me when contemplating the completion and presentation of my own works and advice not lost on Ahn’s pieces which are always ‘finished’ as exhibition pieces of the highest professional standard. My only personal gripe was that by the time I arrived at the gallery all my favourites were sold.
Artist and TAFE teacher