WHEN : 14th June - 9th July
WHERE : Edwina Corlette Gallery
RAWHIDE features new work by Abbey McCulloch and Tara Marynowsky.
Women as social beings: mothers, daughters, sisters – the manner in which the feminine might present itself when the public gaze is not present and perfection not a requirement – this is what concerns Abbey McCulloch. Her paintings of the female persona, while grounded in the tradition of self-portraiture, also act as vehicles for exploring emotions ranging from awe to frustration, from screaming abandon to resolute determination. McCulloch says she looks to create a “reflexive mirroring process” using her own image as a prop to lay bare contrivances necessary for emotional survival in our overly self-conscious culture. Her ease and facility in working with the face and figure lead to “a mix of theatre, a bit of softening, some exaggeration” and subsequently, an incisive glimpse into forthright, unsentimental observation.
Her palette favours complementary colours applied in thin layers, building to a sense of irony: opposites work against one another in disagreement and tension. “My work is an absolutely private pilgrimage. I want the viewer to feel the struggle between risk and hesitation”.
McCulloch holds a Masters in Fine Art from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Named as one of Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists by Art Collector in 2009, 2010 and 2011, she has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize three times (with portraits of Toni Collette , Nell Schofield  and Naomi Watts in 2013). She has also been a finalist in the Redland Art Prize, the Paul Guest Drawing Prize, the Northern Rivers Portrait Prize, the Stan and Maureen Duke Prize and the Metro Art Prize.
Tara Marynowsky’s painterly interventions on vintage postcards and subtly rendered watercolours explore the raw power of the feminine. She knows that nostalgia for a perfectly contained female energy exists alongside the historical transformation of women’s self-identity, and she looks to bring poetic truth to light. Her process-oriented sensibility balances emotive intensity with delicate line, form and colour, and imbues the fragile figures of men and women, animals, ghostly apparitions and masked players inhabiting her work with an otherworldly honesty – connecting a strangely familiar past with an unsettling present.
Provocative and direct, confronting and comforting, Marynowsky’s ability to enter the viewer into an intimate relationship with the fragility and beauty of curiosity, play and subverted politesse forces dialogue with the tropes we use to define ourselves. In her work, cultural stereotypes, mythical archetypes and unspoken longings meet up with the subconscious currents that influence our daily lives.
Tara holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from UNSW, College of Fine Arts, Sydney and has exhibited widely throughout Australia as well as internationally. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and residencies, most recently a Marten Bequest Scholarship and including the Linden Postcard Prize, the Fraser Studio Arts Residency at Queen Street Studios in Sydney, a finalist for the Helen Lemprière Travelling Arts Scholarship and an Australia Council Inter-Arts Grant. Written by Carol Schwarzman
Image: ABBEY MCCULLOCH, ISLAND (2016)