Amber Wallis ‘Part Time Paintings’

3 Oct – 21 Oct 2017

"The lightness and darkness of parenting permeates both the process, and narrative of these works. 

I am now a mother and have had to renegotiate time to create a productive and consolidated art practice. Works once extensively ruminated over in the flesh are now pondered while I parent. In thinking about my child’s future my thoughts stray to my past. These memories, both cherished and banished, have found their way into my mind and painting. My changed way of working has created a fragmented approach with long thought processes and minimal practical time. The works reflect this fragmentation with various vignettes.

My paintings while still directed by the process of painting have nevertheless crept into the terrain of the domestic. Framing, architectural forms and interiors peak out of colour fields and landscapes. Interior spaces are woven throughout the works. Some paintings are begun by referencing my father’s 1970’s ‘Woodstock Handmade Houses’ book, my childhood skewed in the dark side of that hippy utopian vision. These books are the only tangible things that I have of my father's. 

Other works are begun by referencing my own domestic space; bananas harvested from the yard, views from my studio. Sex continues to be explored in my work; pornography and the empty interiors of X-rated stills are also used as starting points. Yet the works become veiled, rooms turn into landscapes and the process of painting is allowed to erase these beginnings enabling new narratives to occur. 

I am interested in veiling to construct a psychological space that is strangely familiar rather than simply mysterious. I stretch representational elements into the abstract, allowing shape, form, composition and colour to take over to create a psychological landscape. My work rests in this territory of the uncanny, teetering on an edge between the known and the unknowable." Amber Wallis, 2017