- 1 October – 15 January 2023
Exhibition Opens Friday 30 September, 6pm at Singleton Arts + Cultural Centre.
From his studio in the Hunter Valley, Christopher Dewar creates curiously compelling objects in paint. His works are studied interplays of colour and shape, which express liminality through abstraction. Dewar’s engagement with transitions and boundaries began in an effort to materially manifest the process of leaving. These works exist in a place of intentional disorder, where the journey and destination are not consciously pre-determined, allowing the artist to ritualise and embody moments of personal change, with all their inherent confusion, discomfort and risk.
The artist studies the places he finds himself, selecting shapes and colours to bring with him and process. In his works, these impressions are layered, stacked, and placed intuitively, to form groupings that rest in disorientation and float in slow movement. His compositions deliberately avoid representing a static, complete, or re-ordered state, in order to embrace moments of transition. Material processes of sanding, wiping away, and painting through a silk screen are undertaken to remove the ‘finished’ state of the works, nudging them back into disorder. Dewar embraces the accidental, and the excitement, humour and tension that comes through damage, mistakes, and chance happenings, while maintaining a controlled tension in the design. The compositions are complete in their liminality. They are not final, but rather whole.
While Dewar’s abstract works are meditative and hopeful, some embody an energy which can verge on anxiousness. This is because they never fully enter a new state, instead veering back to rest in liminal space. Others exist peacefully, with a potential energy as disorder finds its own balance with time. These works are not maps through a liminal experience; they are icons or talismans constructed with an urgency to embody and connect matter to matter. His skills are practiced in the elastic parting of subject and object, reality and appearance, viewing and knowing, imagination and gravity.
Transformation requires imagination and time. Changing our stories depends on re-imaging and re-imagining ourselves, our relationships, and the places we inhabit. Dewar’s works are continual movements from and to, linked to place through colours, shapes, and time. This collection catalogues the entry into disorder and consequent emergence to rest here.