abstract art, a systems view

Posts Tagged ‘Wirksworth Festival

More Pinks

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Yesterday I wrote about Rachael Pinks‘ painted collage works on paper  at Wirksworth Festival. I said that the shapes of each piece seemed to grow out of their own making, resulting in more or less rectangular pictures, with irregular edges.

Rachael Pinks, Curled up, Acrylic and Collage on Paper, 14 x 19cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

There was also a painting that didn’t have these collage and sculptural qualities. Slightly larger than the other works, acrylic painted on canvas, mounted on board, it has fewer of the landscape associations for me.

Rachael Pinks, A Thimble Full of Red, Acrylic on canvas on board, 33.5 x 27cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

In a way, more abstract, more clearly a composition of rectangular shapes of various sizes and colour, it still looks like it was arrived at rather than pre-planned. If I wanted to read it as landscape I could wonder if the larger shape is a building with other buildings around and possibly a flag or two, the blue ground possibly has some sea or quay side associations like yesterday’s collages. But this reading is, for me, less insistent. It might be more about how the little red squares assert themselves and how the larger red-ish rectangle behind the white attempts to push forward, to gain our attention. Maybe I am reading in content of a different sort if I suggest that it may be about struggle and resolution.

Written by Andy Parkinson

September 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

Rachael Pinks at Wirksworth Festival

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Some lovely abstract paintings by artist and fellow art blogger Rachael Pinks were on show in the old Grammar School at Wirksworth Festival last weekend.

I say paintings because that’s largely how I experienced them. It may be more accurate to say collages. There is something sculptural about them too, though they are tiny, nearly all works on paper less than 12″ tall, mounted in frames in such a way that you can see the whole object, including the edges. The shape of each piece looks arrived at by the very process of collaging small pieces of painted paper rather than by staying within the confines of a predetermined shape and size. They seem constructed or modelled, so the completed object is never an exact rectangle, it is irregular, handmade.

Rachael Pinks, My Hill, Acrylic and collage on paper, 13 x 12.5cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

Bits of writing show through where collage elements are painted on printed word, I thought newsprint but Rachael tells me they are books.

I find myself reading them as landscapes or seascapes, and some of the titles encourage this, though the images usually find themselves in the process of being painted, rather than in a resemblance of an actual place. ‘Real world’ starting points are more in the artist’s kinaesthetic system than the visual.

The bits of text, in an indirect way, refer to place, and to the artist’s personal history, in that they are taken from three very small poetry books, printed in 1820, seen on the way home one night when walking past in a well-known book shop in Cromford. “These old books just appealed to me when I saw them: the battered covers made me think they had been used and loved”.

Rachael Pinks, Sat Below an Almost Cloudless Sky, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas, 14cm x 19cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

I don’t know why I like it, that in Sat Below an Almost Cloudless Sky I can just make out the word “Rebellion” in capitals near the bottom right of the picture. My wife is sure that it is a picture of a boat, and I can see why. Though it has no such referential specificity, it is difficult not to see the sea in the left hand blue, with the hull of a blue boat at bottom centre, green hills higher up, along with pale sky in which is just one small cloud. I think the title refers to this reading-in, rather than to any ‘a priori’ content.

My favourite is Curled Up

Rachael Pinks, Curled up, Acrylic and Collage on Paper, 14 x 19cm. Image by courtesy the artist

A tiny edge of printed word curls away from the picture plane, whilst beneath the line it creates, a yellow triangle floats in an abstract landscape with figures, that are clearly not figures or landscape but painted, torn and cut paper arranged intuitively to form a charming miniature, intriguing and beautiful.

Written by Andy Parkinson

September 15, 2011 at 8:01 am