Image: Fiona White: "When I See you" Acrylic and compressed charcoal on Board, 89x74cm
Been catching up on some great exhibitions in Sydney. In the next few posts, I'll be presenting my picks of what's been, or is still happening.
Fiona White at Harrison Galleries (12th Feb -2nd March) (Title Link)
Fona White was selected for the Blake Prize for Religious art, and, to my mind, had one of the best works in the show. This lady can paint and her images cannot be ignored.
White layers thick acrylic in a flat, almost naive style which looks for all the world like enamel paint. Her colours are off-kilter, but all the more powerful for that, expressing the strange world of memory (1950's?) where her characters, mostly black (Aboriginal? Negro?) leap from the picture plane and into your soul. I fell in love with one young boy, who, I am sure, was knocking at doors on a sunny afternoon trying to engage the occupants in talk about "The Watchtower" -a painting all" innocence co-opted", revealing the awkwardness, yearning, and altruism of adolescence, and the sadness of probable rejection. Another figure floats upside-down, tossed by circumstance and history. These works are like that: you find yourself making up stories about the characters. But don't expect to happily hang these paintings over your sofa - they are too powerful for that.