Cathy Quinn

Alternate Reality

July 16 - July 30 2016

"One of the aims of art is to reconcile us with the world, not by protest, irony or political metaphor, but by ecstatic contemplation of pleasure." Robert Hughes

The logic of reproducing appearances has been abandoned in Cathy Quinn's, shimmering, ambiguous landscapes. "My current practice is an interpretation of my environment and experiences conditioned by imagination. It is about finding the magic that lies within both the beautiful and the seemingly ugly," she muses. "The works are an investigation into the possibilities of change and transformation. They continue with the notion of looking through the mind's eye to alter what is banal or confronting and shift that reality to create a positive slant."

Factual elements have thus become tangential for Quinn - hers is a subjective vision expressing a yearning for transcendence. She is striving to express a synthesis of inner and outer worlds where the vista is divested of solidity and naturalistic meaning amidst a blaze of glowing hues. "Looking into the distance, I experience the undulating mountains melding into shapes woven with layers of colour, light and atmosphere," says the Melbourne-based artist. "Discovering the beauty in something that is not immediately perceivable is my quest."

Employing shape sparingly, colour functions as her pictorial language. "My medium is oil paint, which I build up and break down, incorporating and excluding," continues Quinn. An intuitive painter, she affirms that the element of chance is an integral part of her process, for in relinquishing some control the narrative reveals itself. "What interests me are the mark-making and the placement of colour and shape against light and darks." Pigment in Quinn's works operates as more than a brushed-on substance, it saturates the canvas: the fluid depths radiating an intensity of chromatic energy.

Quinn's uncluttered, luminous subjects permeate starved senses. Her paintings are kaleidoscopic, light-filled realms that aim to change the viewer's jaded state of awareness. Independent of everyday concerns and perceptions, they project an elevating sense of joyousness.

Having grown up in Melbourne, Quinn subsequently spent many years living in London and Hong Kong. She has been an exhibiting artist since 1985 and Alternate Reality will be her first solo show in Queensland. Her training includes: BA (Fine Art) at Chisholm Institute (now Monash University) majoring in printmaking and sub-majoring in sculpture 1997; Christies Education - Australian Art 1997; Studio & Practice Development, La Trobe College of Education 2010. In London, Quinn worked for London Contemporary Art and Grenville Gibbs Corporate Art. Upon her return to Melbourne she became the sole representative for London Contemporary Art. She has also worked for the National Gallery of Victoria and volunteered her services to Christies, Hong Kong, the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and was involved in the organisation and co-ordination of graduate printmaking exhibitions for various art schools including Monash University (Chisholm), the Victorian College of Arts and RMIT, Bundoora.


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