Peregian Beach artist Petalia Humphreys creates bold works that investigate spatial relationships between work and exhibition space.
After some time absent from engaging with my art practice I was keen to embrace the opportunity to participate in the exhibition of tiny plinth works at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Finding a balance between working in visual art education and raising three children, the chance to exhibit in a professional art space reaffirms my drive and intention to create more work and return to a regular art practice.
Producing smaller scaled works has allowed me to reduce the scale of my current work and to return to my cube paintings of 20 cm, however in this iteration the cube is punched through, creating two further cube works of 10 cm each, thus creating a tunnel like space revealing playful approaches how the work locates itself and how it’s viewed within the space.
My work is concerned with the spatial relationships that exist within the exhibition space and upon the surface of the painted object. These indicate the importance that both the artist and viewer play in the rendering and perception of geometric compositions. The work engages the viewer by manipulating perceptual experiences which are determined by the placement of line or form on the work, and the placement of the viewer in context with the work.
This current work marks a shift from hanging the cube paintings on the wall to locating them horizontally upon the plinth. All six sides of the cube are painted giving them the potential to be repositioned and reconsidered in alternative arrangements.
The idea of the cube paintings arose out of an extension of the traditional edge of the canvas – to the point where each edge equalled the dimensions of the front surface. The edges then become integral to the reading of the geometric patterns that emerge from viewing the work from multiple perspectives. The edges of the painting conjoin and the three-dimensional flattens out to be read as one picture plane. That which is two-dimensional visually shifts and folds to become three-dimensional, and in turn that which is three-dimensional unfolds and becomes two-dimensional.
Dichotomies run rife. Although hard-edge and geometric the work reveals itself and the inherent marks left from the painting process. The painterly surface is at ease against the hard surface and flat edge of the object. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional planes blur to create a new field of vision.
This work has been made for the Judith Wright Centre. With form and colour inspired by the space, the works are made to sit amiably within the architecture of greys and bursts of colour in the foyer. Light too, becomes important as shadows are cast upon the surface of the work, wrapping diagonally across surfaces that are revealed within the void and fall upon the internal crevices of the cut-out spaces.
In addition to exploring the square, the cube and the cut out, my current work also plays with the use of raw plywood as part of the resolved composition, on par with other painted surfaces within the composition it becomes its own field of colour.
Petalia’s works will be on display at the Judith Wright Centre from 1 March – 24 May 2019 as part of the Seasonal Sittings of Tiny Art – Autumn
Petalia Humphreys’ paintings reveal beauty caught in a moment of time whilst traversing an architectural landscape. With references to cross-sections of spaces surfaces meet to procure tension and release. Embracing both painting and sculpture, the works disclose contrasts and dichotomies, exploring ideas of playfulness and interplay – mapping both movement and stillness. Concerned with architectural space, there is a flattening out of that which is three dimensional. Pushed into the corner the square folds into its rigid setting yet the works manifests itself in a space beyond its physicality.