Saturday, 14 January 2017

Lynn Cook

8 January - 5 February      Orange & Blue

Lynn Cook. Orange and Blue. 2016. Gouache on Paper.

 In the first half of 2016 I tutored interior architecture students at UNSW. One exercise was to build a model of a rectangular prism with holes cut through from side to side, like a tunnel. For the students the aim was to make something real and tangible, cut and glued together, out of cardboard, a thing.
I made two little models myself, to re-experience the difficulties and challenges of model making. I left them on my work table.

Lynn Cook. Orange and Blue. 2016. Gouache on Paper.

Later on in August, as I was starting to paint again, I used these little boxes as a very simple subject, working on paintings that try to represent space through colour and shape. Using orange and blue, complementary colours, that mix to make black. Blue - calm, tranquil, and cool, suggesting the space of the sea or sky.  Orange - vibrant and enlivening, sweet sharp as the fruit.  Using the colour out of the tube, then mixing it. Working through the painting from light to dark - blank paper, orange, blue, orange brown, blue brown, black. Flattening out the three dimensional object in light and shade, back onto a two dimensional plane, described only with colour.

The image is repeated in successive paintings. In some of the paintings I'm using diluted colour, 
trying to suggest the space between the boxes through shape,  the movement of paint on paper. Other paintings I'm starting over again, with new orange and blue, trying to get the values right. Turning colour tv back to black and white.  With each going over there are subtle changes, a retuning.  As the light changes, as the day goes on, the shadows shift, shorten and then lengthen. The image cannot be pinned down. It must be approximated, suggested, left to be guessed at.

Lynn Cook, 2017

Lynn Cook. Orange and Blue. 2016. Gouache on paper.
I was drawn to one of Lynn's studies when she posted on the instagram.
I was intrigued with the possibilities of using colours alone to suggest form and space.  There is a discipline involved with this exercise, studying the same subject, and capturing the forms and the space they inhabit at different times of the day as the light falls on them change their appearance.  In Lynn's excerpt, she has alluded to the idea that what we perceive hold no absolute truth, and the subject shows different aspects of itself through the different condition and space it inhabits.  When Lynn assembled the drawings on the wall of Slot, the forms no longer hold as much interest for me as the relationships formed amongst the studies made of these forms as they are made to inhabit the same space.  Surprisingly, they have added more to the identity of the subject than if they were to be seen on their own.

Anie Nheu
January 2017