ART OUT WRITE
Australian contemporary art writing
Saturday 15th October 2011
Sydney painter Inga Dalrymple's latest exhibition at Sydney's A-M Gallery is a kaleidoscope of intensely emotive colours, abstract patterns and relationship. Viewing her work is an opportunity to sense the synergy between this painter and her practise, the intensity of her love for what she does so well. A prolific, emerging artist, this collection invites you to view her inner world where colours are married to perfection and a patina of contemplative satisfaction seems to imbue each work.
Inga has managed to combine motherhood, a full time teaching career with an active art practise. Her love of painting sustains her and her practise is her creative anchor, solace and inspiration. She is productive and hardworking. Her studio is crammed with projects underway. Interestingly, she paints surrounded by a circular arrangement of paintings which she works at simultaneously, entering into a defined space of creativity and colour where she paints for hours, entranced by the development of each piece. Viewing this exhibition enables one to sense the artist's absorption, the almost meditative, intimate concentration applied through her relationship with colour and form.
The combination of colours and texture in this exhibition is particularly beautiful. A stormy fusion of mauve, grey and prussian blue dominates. The paintings titled Black and Blue, Velvet Head and Deep Dark are extraordinarily sensual, textured and vivid. Beneath a surface, which has been scraped, sanded and tumultuously brushed, lies an underlying silver sheen, like moonbeams on a torrid sea. Modestly proportioned, each canvas has a quiet impact, emotive and yet restrained. Dalrymple uses oil paint lavishly and the textures she achieves is beautiful, the colours in her oil paintings are deep and complex.
Although not a landscape painter, Inga is affected viscerally by the urban environment and her practise involves recording the often ignored minutiae of objects found in the inner city, graffiti, garbage, discarded objects. This eye for urban detail echoes the interest of artists she admires such as Prunella Clough and Thomas Nozkowski. Yet Dalrymple's perception of environment is rarely figurative, it is seen, recorded, detailed in her sketchbooks yet the vast imprint is an emotive one that translates quietly through her work. Although the artist draws inspiration from the city, the quality of the work, its organic jumble of shape, form and colour suggests a visual spaciousness often more resonant with the natural landscape.
Dalrymple's work is exceedingly comfortable in the small to medium scale format. It is where she excels. Given a larger canvas, such as Tumbled Shapes, the painterly language seems to topple; more experimentation, freer definition of form, less concentration of colour and confidence. The beautiful sense of closure, of definition and harmony seen within the smaller canvases seems lost and forced. Being such a perfect colourist, the smaller format, enables this artist to sink into the tonality of each work satisfyingly. It's this marriage that makes Dalrymple's work standout. On a larger scale an invasion of pink and pastel, plenty of white background seems to challenge the painter perhaps as much as the viewer.
A-M Gallery is a small gallery and Dalrymples work creates a busy, patchwork of colour and texture across the walls. Its not an exhibition to rush through; although visually arresting and bold, the temptation to pace through a small gallery and retreat should be avoided. Each work invites relationship and contemplative observation, as much as they are intuitive pieces, they are also enigmatic and demand to be read. Interestingly, in the back of the gallery there is even a smaller room and in this room the artist has chosen to display her sketchbooks. Bursting with colour, detail and inspiration her work deserves a better quality sketchbook than the grid books currently favoured. There is some lovely detail in her quotidian sketches and the books track her development as an artist with a great mastery of colour. This beautiful exhibition is on at the 191 Wilson St, Newtown until October 29, 2011. Or to see more of Dalrymples work look at www.ingadalrymple.net.
By Emilia Salgado
Journalist currently studying
Visual Art Management
at COFA UNSW