with Alison Smith
19 – 29 June 2015
Art Systems Wickham
Exploring abstraction as a process.
Jill Stowell | Newcastle Herald | June 26, 2015, 9:30 p.m
AT Art Systems Wickham until June 28 are recent works that play layering games with abstract forms.
Alison Smith is known for her elaborate woodblock prints, often successively cutting back into the same timber block to create several images in different colours, an exacting technique employed by the great Japanese printmakers.
In the current work she replaces recent rigidly architectonic subjects in solemn colour with curving biomorphic elements in summery pastels, with the translucent overlayering reminding the viewer of the arduous process involved.
Works on paper by Ahn Wells also suggest rounded shapes in apparently spontaneous pattern making. This is a big surprise, a major change in direction from the monochrome pricked or sewn exercises in restrained minimalism that have marked her art practice over many years.
Bold colour contrasts and painterly gesture must be liberating for her, a creative aspect of a very busy new career setting up and running her recently opened gallery at 139 Beaumont Street.