Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mosman Art Gallery - Lucy Culliton

I have a small grey knitted bunny which I bought in Kandos back in 2003, it’s starring in my latest painting which is going into a group show next week so painting knitted toys is a first for me and after seeing Lucy’s paintings of knitted toys my jaw dropped and I think I may have cried a bit.

The last show I saw of Lucy’s was the flowers in bottles which was truly magnificent and managed to pick up a signed copy of the Bibbenluke catalogue. Upon seeing works again from that catalogue pulled some heart strings, yes I’m sorry I admit to being a gusher and why not as the work in this survey is Fantastic with a capital ‘F’ and doesn’t fault on any level.

Let’s start with ‘Knitted dolls, crown scene’ 2007, oil on canvas, 120x120cm this intense staring down by the dolls eyes could be unnerving but thankfully not with all those happy faces you just want to pick them up and hug them and there is a number of knitted works to keep any knitter satisfied.

And cake anyone? ‘Still Life/White Ground’ 2000 oil on board 122x122cm creates immediate hunger pains from the perky Meringues to the soft creamy Eclairs, displayed gracefully on eclectic decorative china which has captured flickers of the lighting to perfection. I fondly remember those pearlesque mugs and have scowed many second hand shops looking for the loveliest tea cup set.

That Laminton will always beckon me even now that I have quit processed sugar, it sit’s quietly in the middle of the delicate green floral side plate tempting me forever.

Sweetness as well as light is a prominent theme with Lucy’s work, ‘Lucy’s Bathroom’ 2010, oil on canvas 86x76cm had me entranced with the delicate flickers of light bouncing off the ceramic toilet and bath, I stood affixed for sometime. How the light can play games with your eyesight and yet how it changes a picture when a twinkle of light is added to it.

‘Sissors Green’ 2001, oil on board, 30.5x22.5cm beckons the viewer to pick them up and keep cutting the swath of green fabric, allowing the light to bounce off the metal and get you in the eyes. I’m a little delirious looking at these but yet I keep going as there is more to come. I would have kicked myself if I had missed seeing ‘Cactus’, 2004, oil on canvas, 101x133cm as I saw it in the catalogue before arriving at the gallery and only by chance I found it on the stairwell hanging on the wall in all it’s rustic charm. 

Lucky last ‘Wattle’ 2011, oil on canvas, 80x110cm the only one out of all the glass bottle works that has stolen my heart for I am a Wattle lover and the scent is intoxicating to me. Lucy has captured and bottled their existence for all eternity.

Go forth young Lucy as you are one hell of a painter!

Fleur MacDonald

20th September - 30th November 2014

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