On Friday I had the opportunity to paint in my studio with a fellow artist - an experience that I haven’t had since I left South Africa a year and a half ago. We painted, chatted, looked at each other’s work and generally had a productive morning.
In the afternoon we went into the city to visit an exhibition at GoMA (Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art) Contemporary Australia: Women. The visit was prompted by an earlier discussion about a particular work: Noël Skrzpczak’s installation Jungle 2012. My friend had seen it on an earlier visit to the gallery. We were curious about the artist’s process, and wanted to see if we could work out how it had been made.
Detail: Noël Skrzpczak Jungle 2012 - Synthetic polymer paint - Site specific installation commissioned for this exhibition. Collection: The artist.
Close examination of this monumental work left us none the wiser. While chatting to a Gallery staffer we learned that when the work (in GoMA’s long gallery) was installed the entire area was screened off so the process would remain secret.
Detail: Jungle 2012
Essentially it’s poured paint, a smooth skin only millimetres thick. The vibrant pigments are luscious and delicious; juicy colours merge and blend, flowing down the wall.
Metres high, it was almost impossible to photograph in its entirety. Joins in the painting were barely visible. It looks like a giant transfer adhered to the wall but that description doesn’t do the work justice. It's a wonderful work, full of energy and inspiring colour.
Jungle 2012 - View from the upper level of the Long Gallery
GoMA’s website says the following:
Skrzypczak describes her monumental paintings as ‘addressing the wall’. While her paintings showcase the brilliance of contemporary pigments and the painterly quality of flatness, her method is also intensely physical: rather than controlling paint with a brush, Skrzypczak uses an action-based pouring process. By emphasising her materials and the physicality of her process, Noël Skrzypczak reveals her belief in the continuing ability of the art of painting to give visible form to abstract ideas.