Gail Batchelor: Wearing Coats at Qb Studios
Finding beauty in the discarded and vast emptiness, Christchurch artist Gail Batchelor’s upcoming exhibition Wearing Coats at Qb Studios features a fascinating collection of lyrical abstract paintings and monochromatic collage prints.
This thought-provoking series, based on the peeling hulls of derelict fishing boats Batchelor found in Moeraki, is inspired by the many layered and broken surfaces of these retired vessels, their endless trips out to sea, and their quieter times of rejuvenation and repair.
Utilising enamel paint to create vibrancy and resilience, the pieces are canvassed on wooden boards or aluminium sheeting. Batchelor deliberately layered and sanded back the works achieving the complexity of texture and colours reflective of the many hands that have worked on these boats, and of the accidental spills, the patches, and the continual cycle of wear and maintenance over time in one of nature’s most beautiful and mercurial environments.
Also on exhibition will be prints of collages. The collages have been made by combining original photographs, taken at Birdlings Flat, and painting into and/or combining them with handmade intaglio prints. These works set out to suggest the space, emptiness and isolation of that area and in that sense they complement the hull paintings while providing an obvious contrast with their stillness and absence of colour.
The essence of all of the images in this exhibition is simplicity and direct emotion, and viewers can expect to enjoy finding themselves somewhere in these works.
Wearing Coats opens at 6pm on Thursday the 20 August at Qb Studios, 18 Bernard Street, Addington, with regular gallery hours 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday to 25 September.