Olsen Gruin

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Olsen Gruin is pleased to present Realm, an exhibition of new mixed media on linen paintings by Australian artist Marisa Purcell.

When I paint it feels as though the verbal part of my brain goes quiet.
It's like the pre-frontal cortex wakes up.
 
What emerges always surprises me. The painting unfolds as I watch.  One thing affects the other. Every element connects with the next like a spider web or a network of fungus linking an entire forest. Like Einstein’s description of mass, everything is interdependent and co-dependent, everything is part of a system. Space curves.  Every object sits in its own gravitational field, yet affects everything around it. 
 
For me, the veil acts as a screen - mimicking the way the brain erects definitive boundaries to construct reality.  It becomes a curtain and implies movement.  I like how this movement makes the surface changeable - depending on the viewing position. Like a mirror the reflective pigments I use allow the painting to reflect multiple versions of itself.
 
My ongoing interest in veils, curtains, looms, shields, cosmology and liminal spaces continue to be investigated in these new paintings.  The paintings create Realms of other possibilities, alternative zones - beyond realities we so carefully construct for ourselves.  They reveal a space that sits just beyond me.
 
My paintings are a distillation of the endless possibilities available to me, condensed into one flattened surface. They are cross-sections of time and being. Painting is my way of filtering through the doppler effect of noise -  and sit with the ubiquitous human desire to understand the unfathomable vastness of it all. – Marisa Purcell

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The subject of Marisa Purcell's artwork cannot be found in her paintings but comes about through the experience of them. Their meaning resides in the illusory spaces created between the swathes and splashes of brilliant saturated colour, and the bold and ghostly forms that spill out from her canvases to permeate the viewer. 

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Purcell describes these illusory voids as liminal spaces, and thinks of them as active zones which cross time and space, and in which artist and viewer meet and interact. Long interested in the processes of art's reception, she draws inspiration from the example of artists across history - from Fra Angelico to Rothko - who similarly exploited the mystical power of painting to embody spiritual sensation. 

Purcell works instinctively and experimentally to the same end, constantly paring her work back to essential motivations. In their final iterations, her ephemeral and aesthetically sophisticated compositions gesture towards an experience of the profound that is available to us all.