Michelle Hanlin's exhibition, Ledge Would Alabaster presents a series of paintings that takes its title from a poetic play on words derived from Wedgewood porcelain and classical architectural elements, such as ledges, niches, archways, along with the bas relief 'alabaster' sculptural forms that inhabit them. Hanlin constructs her images in a field of memory and invention, drawing inspiration from inherited and acquired objects that filter through the peripheral vision of her imaginative subconscious.
Hanlin's paintings evoke ideas of form etched into memory and invented images presented in vibrant new relationships. Objects with various histories form new meanings in the psyche. Some of her paintings have sculptural elements embedded in quasi-architectural environments like grottoes or tableaux, interacting, perhaps looking out to a new kind of existence. Hanlin uses the spatial logic of emblems, fabric design and the theatre set to create a stage for a reality of condensed but abstracted meaning.
For Hanlin, the germ of an idea might come from a vintage souvenir tea towel depicting Grecian ruins or a kitsch figurine. Hanlin responds to the faded colours and worn quality of these things. Like architectural ruins, their utility is lost to a kind of aesthetic beauty, and within her work, these forms become dreamlike effigies.
Press release courtesy Gallery 9.