Joyous contradictions lie at the heart of Ruth Thomas-Edmonds new exhibition 'Smells like Pink'. Here we have art wanting to take us for a walk in some imaginary urban park where brutalist architecture meets unrestrainedly fecund nature. This is not the purity of mid-20th century high art abstraction but the creation of form as a way of being in the world which encompasses all the sensory contradictoriness of that experience.
Solid forms in two and three-dimensions are layered and carefully built up brush stoke by brushstroke and cardboard square upon square. Paint in the sculptures gluing the pieces, oozing, glooping, dripping, wanting to be licked, and the structures themselves spawning abundant new growth, multifarious offspring. Paint on the paper (Thomas-Edmond's preferred smooth ground for paint) applied with her signature dabbing brushstrokes, carefully contained and built up in layers that conceal and reveal. But, like the three-dimensional forms, these forms also wander- here free-form across the roll of paper that Thomas-Edmond has hung uncut – in a gesture that invites the viewer to linger and select the fruit that must be cut.
Careful and casual, sensory and dry, everyday and ethereal, olfactory colour, Thomas-Edmonds third solo exhibition in the gallery offers rich and lingering contradictions.
Wellington based, Ruth has a Master of Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts. Recent public exhibitions include Solo 2014 at the Dowse Art and How to Fall in 2013 and The Obstinate Object in 2012 at City Gallery Wellington.
Press release courtesy Bartley + Company Art.