Fragmatism is the second solo exhibition of Kristine Ballard that I saw at ArtShine Gallery in Chippendale. The exhibition is composed of early and recent works of Kristine from her travels overseas particularly, the time she spent in Fiji. One cannot deny her admiration in colours due to its heavy depictions on her canvases. Varied patches of colours that explicitly forms into objects heightened Kristine’s exploration of her unique style of semi-abstraction thus leading to a platform that looked fragmented yet ironically seemed cohesive. The exhibition will run until the 26th of October.
A conclave of inspiration from the artists of the early 20th century, the paintings that I saw was reminiscent of the works of Paul Gauguin. Even though that the paintings were landscapes in nature, the chunk, plot and strip of colours were ostensibly emulated from Gauguin’s The Day of the God with its camouflaged styling and loose brushstrokes in the foreground. What made Kristine’s work different, like for example her painting entitled Island Harmony, was the careful and laborious execution of paint as if it followed a stencilled drawing underneath the pigments. This implementation was clearly of the heavy influence of her graphic design background.
Oil on canvas on board
39.0 x 32.0 cm
It was a big delight to move from such explosion of colours to a more subdued and controlled palette of her Tide series. Almost instantly, this series possessed the feeling of maturity since the paintings were more spontaneous, automatic and best of all instinctive. Finally, gone were the foreplay and satiated use of heavy colours and was now replaced with simple brush strokes of celadon and mauve. An implicit confidence was now emerging, and the series moved away from being decorative. The painting Meridian Tides encompasses the artist’s exploration of style. The patches of colours were now homogenous. Still staying with its Fragmatism style, the interplay of forms now varied greatly from being blended, washed, to impasto thus producing depth and dynamism in the painting. It was a striking composition and would appreciate seeing more of this ‘styling’ soon.
Oil On Canvas
122.0 x 152.0 cm
Kristine mentioned that she always receives that energy of ‘push and pull’ in every painting at hand and her latest works in this exhibition were a clear testament. Exotic paintings such as Tropic Splendour and Palm Cove possessed great handling of oil pigments, noteworthy compositions with its crisscrossing diagonals, a popular technique during the Renaissance period, and a wise interplay of colours. Yet amidst the noble effort, I got confused. Mainly due to the reason that I felt that the paintings went backwards instead of exploring forward. But after a minute recollection, I thought that this might be the reason why the artist labelled her artwork as Fragmatism. That her style was not only characterised by fragments of forms and colours but as a whole, it speaks of that wandering vitality towards the discovery of her opus that would describe consistency, uniformity and confidence.
Oil On Canvas
122.0 x 61.0 cm
101.0 x 101.0 cm, Oil on Canvas
AUD 3,250 incl. GST
About the art historian and writer – Norman Domigpe
My name is Norman Domigpe, and I love anything that is related to art. Since being very ‘artsy’, I tried everything when I was little. Tried dancing, failed. Singing, failed. Played the piano and violin, failed. Painting, failed. But the history of art intrigued me big time, so I started collecting and writing about art. I believe that art is the only medium that affects all the senses.
I am undertaking postgraduate studies under the program, Masters of Art History from The University of Adelaide. I finished a graduate diploma course on Art History from the Art Institute London and attained an undergraduate degree in Psychology.
I am a member of The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, the national professional body for art historians. Member of the Art Gallery Society of NSW, National Art Gallery in Canberra, The National Gallery of Victoria and The Art Gallery of South Australia.
As a writer, I have written reviews on Aboriginal, Australian and Contemporary Art and I contribute some of my works to ArtShine Gallery.
You will see me around, especially on exhibitions. Would love for you to say hi.