Solo Exhibition Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore
25 November – 22 December 2017
An Ordinary Poetry explores and celebrates the ordinariness of everyday life.
Prosaic moments are arrested in time and inspected from every angle, through shifting light and frames of mind – time here stretches and folds. Following an ankle fracture, the artist’s experience of time and ordinary tasks was recomposed, altering the tempo of life’s banalities. Bed became, for some time, her vantage point from which to observe the world outside as well as her internal world. Both worlds are imbedded in these works that become complete self-portraits, depicting the body in all its worldly relations.
An Ordinary Poetry marks a shift in Black’s oeuvre towards a more contained self-portraiture. Where her paintings have often depicted or glimpsed the self as a figure within their tableaus, here the self has an unmitigated presence. Her incantations of the psyche and theatre of the mundane is at once comic, grotesque and exceptionally delicate. The exhibition’s two largest works, Walking Blind and Table Manners (both acrylic and oil on linen, each 210 x 200 cm), are the same size as a set of louvres that the artist looked out of every day from her bed, watching flowers fall to the ground, the ebbs of weather, and the movements of the mind. Table Manners depicts the feeling of a family dinner eaten with one’s leg on the table, whilst Bed Mess (acrylic and oil on linen, 152.5 x 122 cm) is the incantation of a bed where one drifts through sleep and memories, losing track of days.
This series of fifteen new paintings presented within an installation of folded, dropping canvases, is a generous and intimate self-portrait of how it feels to live in the world as a human body, and the joy and tedium of taking care of oneself.