Cynthia Breusch

Empire Of Light

July 23 - August 16 2011

'All at the still point of the turning world. Nether flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is.
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.'
T. S. Eliot: excerpt from Quartet 1. Burnt Norton

Having relocated from the rural outskirts of Brisbane, Cynthia Breusch now calls the Blue Mountains in NSW home. The breathtaking vistas and crisp highland air work a kind of magic for contemplative pursuits. This, together with T. S. Eliot's haunting poem which ponders man's relationship with time, the universe and the divine, have had a profound influence on Breusch's current body of work. Empire of Light is a series of shimmering, visionary-like paintings 'where past and future are gathered'. They are about holding time in timelessness - a meditation or meeting place between art and the spirit of things.

A curious, expectant atmosphere imbues the scenes; the natural and the supernatural seemingly converging in the same space. Amidst passages of shifting light, thought-bound figures are engrossed in intensely personal reveries. "In my work I explore ideas about time as a still continuum which implies the 'presence of an absence' - a simultaneous sense of hope and loss and the poetic nature of that," says Breusch. "In these new paintings I have imagined feelings as a territory or 'empire'. Spaces which are neither 'here' nor 'there' and are inhabited by Dream-keepers, Transitioners and Remakers with a nostalgia for the past but perhaps also for the future." 

The small work Empire of Light, is also the exhibition's title. It introduces context and meaning to the rest of the works. "Empire of Light is hard to put into words," muses Breusch, "but the big shaft of light is meant as a manifestation of thought or something transformative. We may say 'seeing the light' equates with understanding. Perhaps a revelation? Not necessarily but possibly spirituality, a truth of some sort. Or maybe just something un-tellable, un-nameable. Light is so many things. Light is ethereal and powerful. Without light we don't have shadows, we can't have one without the other. We are drawn to light but to me shadows are moody, beautiful things and not always bad or something to be feared. Shadows create the fullness - the roundness of emotion - the yin and yang of life."

Breusch, a painterly painter, is a consummate technician. Surfaces seem to resonate with a radiant vibrational energy that is very essence of matter. She paints directly, her expressiveness exciting the emotions. We 'act out' the artist's wielding of the brush and applying of paint. Breusch's exceedingly active brushwork seems a declaration of personal freedom. It also demonstrates a considerable aesthetic assurance - one based on solid knowledge, power of observation and a deep, intuitive grasp of inner states of being. These landscapes have a kind of life we do not normally see. There is a sense of integration - the differences between solid and void, organic and inorganic, seem hardly to exist.

A weightless kind of exultation pervades Breusch's Empire of Light. Illumination and obfuscation, simplicity and complexity, materiality and spirit combine to produce a mystical sense of oneness. She has conjured a metaphysical reality 'where past and future are gathered'.


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