Judith Duquemin, Integrity No 10, acrylic gouache on canvas

Judith Duquemin, Integrity No 10, acrylic gouache on canvas

Recent Work

Dates: 9 March – 21 April 2007

Opening: Thursday 8 March, 6-8pm

Artist: Juliana Bartulin and Judith Duquemin

An exhibition of work by the first two recipients or the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Travelling Artists Scholarship, Juliana Bartulin winner of the inaugural scholarship in 2003 and Judith Duquemin, 2004.

Recent Work by Judith Duquemin: Integrity

The exhibition of new work by Judith Duquemin at SCA Galleries showcases Geometric Abstraction paintings following two years of practice led Painting research from 2004 to 2006 in Europe, the United States and Australia, Her programme was supported by the 2004 Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Travel Artist Scholarship; the Moya Dyring Studio - Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; an Australi an University European Network Travel Grant; and additional artist residencies in Australia and France.

Residing in Paris in 2005, Duquemin delved into archives of 20th century textile design in institutions and historic textile mills to satisfy her curiosity about visual and conceptual relationships between modernist design, abstract geometric painting and feminine subjectivity. There she researched artists such as Sonja Delaunay, Henri Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, and Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, all of whom referenced textiles in their work. Duquemin’s inquiries later took her to the American Textile Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts and MOMA in New York.

Overwhelmed by the fashion consciousness that goes with contemporary Parisian life and the legacy of French history preserved within the many traditional artifacts, Duquemin’s paintings increasing took on a sentimental yet deceptive appearance. Working out of the Cité Internationale des Arts, and later, a studio apartment located in the Rue des Franc Bourgeois, Duquemin forged the ideas for the works on show.

Her project was motivated by an early exposure to modernist textile design through Anglo/French parentage, and, advanced post-graduate study. The properties of flat colour, shape and line peculiar to modernist design became symbolic for the articulation of memory and an imaginary search for a vital self, with the irony of knowing that emotional memory is not accurate and occurs through association. Further that selfhood is not unitary or stable but adaptable according to gender, role, class, within prevailing social, economic, and political forces. It is through hardedge technique, palettes of tertiary colours, geometric patterns, and irregular grids, that Duquemin has created non-figurative, non-representational, abstract geometric images with a subjective twist. Shapes mobilize and distort, grids bend and separate, colours are flat and muted like those found in textiles. For example the Light Yellow, Magenta & Cobalt Triptych is based upon Catalan textile manufactured in Perpignan in southern France. Actual samples are found in the works titled: Toiles du Soleil named after the manufacturer of three centuries. The irregular striped composition provoked memories of denim, caravan parks and other features of a sun-bleached southeast Queensland beach culture during the 1960s.

All of Duquemin’s paintings are linked by a sense of physicality expressed and felt. The observer is often subconsciously and physically displaced as a result of the image. Primordial reflexes within the body override other senses. This type of phenomena concerning the nature of involuntary physiological responses to environmental and visual stimuli is well documented in art and science. For example the principles governing trompe l’oeil; chemical changes that create camouflage in marine life forms; and proprioception being the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body. The reflex is clearly the object of Duquemin’s technique. Quite unintentional, it is linked in some way to her psychological interpretation of abstract patterns found within geometric textile designs especially those most prevalent during her formative years.

© Judith Duquemin 2007

Acknowledgements: Jo Sonja Paints and Chroma Australia Pty/Ltd

Recent Work by Juliana Bartulin: Writing About

Bartulins Writing About series began in 2003 with a diptych titled Writing About Clouds. The artist uses paper stamens as a collage element in her paintings that transcribe texts, representing each letter in a word with the equivalent number of paper stamens. Through this process the text becomes literally illegible, however the coded and abstracted text has an energy or meter that reveals something of the nature of her subject, be it clouds, light, fire or earth.

What is left [in Bratulin’s paintings] is the essence of the natural elements... What replaces the direct reading of a text is not only a codified formation of stamen but a symbolic interpretation represented as rhythm, pattern and colour. The rhythm of the coded and abstracted text presents a story of a lived experience, - a sigh, a murmur, or breath. Each stanza of stamen is an utterance – a secret – building toward a crescendo through thee intimate telling of sacred or religious texts…

Bartulin proffers a direct experience to the elements as a meditative state in contemplating the earth through an openly abstracted portal or void found within the work. 1

Bartulin’s work results from direct and labour-intensive processes. Meditative process and tracing the time of creating the work are integral to an idea of direct experience, of being present in the making and viewing scenarios. It could be termed ‘Slow Art’, in feeling the fullness of time in making, perhaps the work is turn slows down the viewers experience of intersubjective time. To give oneself time seems gently subversive in a world that is continuing to speed up.

Juliana Bartulin was born in Hobart in 1971 and currently lives and works in Sydney. She completed her Master of Visual Arts (MVA) in Sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney, in 2001 and spent 2002 – 3 participating in international studio residencies in France and Spain. During 2004 – 5 Bartulin’s focus has been concentrated to research within Australia, most recently at the Benedictine monastery in New Norcia, Western Australia. 2006 saw Bartulin work on several important commissions and give birth to her son Luka.

Juliana Bratulin was the first recipient of the Fauvette Louriero Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship, awarded annually by SCA.

1. Donna Brett, June 2005. ‘Writing about earth: contemplation and devotion’ Boutwell Draper Gallery exhibition 2005.