Gallery 9 is pleased to present Partly Altered Aperture, the second exhibition at the gallery by Melbourne artist Alice Wormald.
In Partly Altered Aperture, Wormald continues her practice of using found imagery and collage as source material for oil paintings. For this exhibition, she encircles views of landscapes with arrangements of cut-out shapes. These shapes enclose the central subject to create the impression of an aperture. Each painting offers a secret glimpse through to unnamed worlds of trees, rocks, forests and deserts.
The initial impression is one of naturalism and pictorial depth, but close looking shows each landscape to be no more than a scissored fragment. Wormald's paintings are complete facsimiles of her paper collages, even down to the recording of printing effects. She pays close attention to details unique to the reproduction, such as the colours of inks and the textures of paper. At the same time as being seduced forward into the space of the aperture, we regard these at, subtly variegated surfaces of the printed artefact.
Wormald's paintings are the final renderings of images mediated by the processes of photography, printing and collage. Her landscapes are made metaphorically distant by the slippages in each stage of reproduction. Like a smudged lens, reality is gradually altered and obscured. Her intervention with the scissors is the most manipulative and wilfully abstract. Fragments from one or several images are placed side by side, deliberately confusing our reading of positive and negative space. She forces a disrupted and engaged mode of looking, where the eye moves forward and back, constantly falling into and out of the picture plane.
Always toying with our perception of space as stable and recessive, Wormald presents a view of nature that is fragmented, magical and enigmatic.
Press release courtesy Gallery 9.