Blue Island investigates the interplay of colour and memory in relation to individual experience. Paintings draw on hydrangea related respective experience to demonstrate the capacity for colour and object to hold and trigger memory and association. The exhibition seeks to question the reliability of memory and offers a way to authenticate experience through colour. In attempting to realise something perhaps visually impossible to verify within their paintings; mixing colour truthfully and straightforwardly from memory, the artists are challenged to settle on feeling and intuitive correctness rather than absolute truth and certainty.
Using a uniform size canvas, the 14 invited artists were instructed to translate, from their ‘mind’s eye’, the colour they most strongly associate with their experience of hydrangeas. The result is a collection of essentially monochrome surfaces steeped with hidden and concealed recollections of mothers and mother’s mothers, former neighbours and neighbourhoods, marriage, childbirth city front-yards, suburban backyards, households and broken family homes. More visually evident (than the personal histories imbued in the paintings) is the materiality and individually distinctive application of paint to surface. These largely monochrome works give a condensed, and detail like insight into each artist’s painterly signature, almost all of which are instantly recognisable.
Sally Anderson, 2022