Underneath some pretty corny subject matter lay a smattering of fairly personal records. This may be stupidly romantic, much like the title of the exhibition, but in the making of these paintings I was chasing something genuine and intimate that coerced a certain frame of mind in me, even in the works of a larger scale. The symbolism isn’t meant to be overt. These are not ‘pictures’ of things or literal reflections. However, I discovered by acknowledging clichés I afforded myself room to move.
Loss is captured mostly in the atmospherics. Change and transformation seemed to have naturally spread across abstract vistas. Some of the works emptied right out (they were heavily worked and became darker, which I encouraged). It was knife-edge at times, and seemingly always is, but better that than repetition or stagnation. I think some are quite isolated too. Maybe that is the result of working across a couple of studios over the past year, where I was mostly alone, and that privacy became important and affecting.
I am well aware that my concern for illusion, by way of imagination or folly, is inseparable to my subject matter. I can only hope that these works are nebulous enough to traverse simple introspection and ask of the viewer their own narrative, not just mine.
As for now, with these all done, I’m on the road heading somewhere into the sunset.
N. Ives, 2020
19 - 28 March 2020
Level 1, 288 Johnston Street
Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia
Download exhibition catalogue (PDF)