Amber Wallis’ paintings transform an internal psychological landscape into lyrical physicality. In her work, looping, rhythmic lines and broad areas of brushwork intersperse with shadows of recognizable forms to become the “uncanny place where the abstract and figurative meet”. Her engagement of the hand, gestural notation and colour map out thoughts, emotions, and intuitions.
While mining the legacy of Abstract Expressionism yet suffusing her work with an antipodean light and a fresh, quixotic beauty, Wallis is most concerned with beginning a painting by “hitting a canvas all out”, and maintaining the immediacy of drawing and initial lightness of touch. Balancing the formal with the personal she “traverses the quagmire of thoughts and materials” to arrive at a gutsy art practice liberated from language, and committed to confronting the canvas as a field of action and radical self-analysis.
Amber holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Canberra School of Art and a Master of Visual Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts. She was the winner of the tenth Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2008, during which time she worked in New York and Montreal and completed a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Following from this Amber has been a finalist in several art prizes including and most recently the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2019), Sunshine Coast Art Prize (2018,2019) and Mosman Art Prize (2018). She has featured in serval art publications and magazines notably Australiana to Zeitgeist: An A-Z of Contemporary Australian Art by Melissa Loughnan, Artist Profile (2019, 2012), Art Almanac and Australian Art Collector. Amber has exhibited throughout Australia, Canada and the USA. Her work is held in the Artbank and Arthur Roe Collections as well as various private collections in Australia and internationally. Carol Schwarzman