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Events > Exhibitions

Nicky Foreman
at Whitespace
30 Jun 2010 - 18 Jul 2010

Added by Dib Circle variations first started to appear in my work during my time in Vallauris, France whilst an artist in residence in 2005.

The embryo of the idea of circles/cycles came to me after many visits to Joan Miro's work at the Foundation Maeght in nearby St Paul de Vence. Working in a town full of ceramists I was constantly exposed to round shapes within the pottery genre.

Being half a world away from my usual source of inspiration from the rural New Zealand landscape I was free to explore a more abstract style in my paintings.

Previously my work consisted of organised and regimented compartments, ordered and slightly masculine in their angular nature. In France I began to break away from this and introduce more feminine, softer shapes. It can be somewhat difficult to marry and combine imagery from two different hemispheres, however, my circle and oval style meant these came together more harmoniously.

From that point on circles played a more prominent role in my paintings and the more I used them the more connections I found relevant to my work.

Having recently taught art history lectures on the Renaissance during which time the tondo was widely used lead me to look at stained glass windows - often used as storytelling devices.

In 2008 I also painted a 'Lunar' series [29 circles] that tied together the cyclic and my interest in alchemy. Rotatio [2010 exhibition] elucidates these ideas and builds further on other circular themes - the nucleus, cells, seeds, growth and regeneration. Subsets and Venn diagrams overlay to create layers of meaning.

This overlaying of images has led me to extend my research on the subject of alchemy. I have always utilised many different materials and have learnt all of my processes through experimentation, sometimes stumbling on the perfect effect by adding together unlikely combinations and seeing what transpires - my own kind of alchemy.

There are two ways of viewing alchemy both of which appeal to me -1. as a divine science in which great mysteries are intentionally hidden, encoded in chemical operations and 2. the projection of an inner developmental process. In the second instance Jung's writing on the subject makes clear this fascinating way of viewing human development. I use this second view to develop my paintings around how images and colours evoke emotions, the idea of fusion and separation with neither dominating.

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