Anwen Keeling

Recent Paintings

March 2015

"I am quite bewitched by inky shadows and glowing flesh" muses Sydney-based painter, Anwen Keeling.

Redolent with enigma, Anwen Keeling's intimate narratives are characterized by dramatic, single-source illumination. Cocooned in states of introspective reverie her subjects are oblivious to the external world. These are hushed, immensely personal spaces. The mood is languorous as a slow rhythm and stasis of light falls across motionless bodies. Anwen is a consummate technician, her smoothly brushed oils reverently interpreting the female form. The influence of the 17th century Italian master, Caravaggio, is evidenced in the deep chiaroscuro she employs. In the works Embrace, Surround and Surrender, naked figures are curled foetus-like within their darkened rooms. A heightened sense of visual drama is created by the almost abstract quality of striated shadow play over "glowing flesh". In other paintings the hues and tones are distinctly cooler as a watery light floods through the louvered windows at which her subjects sit. Their gaze is directed outwards but the poses and countenances suggest thoughts are very much elsewhere.

Anwen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) with Honours (First Class) 1998 and the University Medal, Canberra School of Art, Australian National University. She subsequently travelled to Europe to pursue post-graduate studies into the traditions and techniques of the Old Masters and in 2001 was awarded a Masters of Art (European Fine Art) from the Winchester School of Art, Southhampton University, Barcelona campus, Spain.

Her works have been selected in a number of prestigious art awards including: Finalist, Sulman Prize, AGNSW 2011; ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award (Employee's Choice) 2007; Finalist, Metro 5 Art Award, Melbourne 2006; Waiting Room, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney 2005, 2004; Finalist, Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Sydney 2004; Oil Painting Award - The Canberra Prize, Italo Australian Club, Canberra 2003; Finalist, Portia Geach Portrait Award, Sydney 1999; Finalist, Salon des Refuses - Archibald Prize, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney 1999; Canberra School of Art Award, ANU 1998; Visual Arts Scholarship, Queenwood School for Girls 1996; Julian Ashton Art School Scholarship, Sydney 1996; Winner of Mosman Youth Art Prize 1993, 1990, 1989.

Anwen's paintings are represented in the following collections: Australian National University, Canberra; Delaney and Associates Ltd, Canberra; M-Real Alliance Pty Ltd, London; National Australia Bank and private collections in Australia, United States, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.



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