WHEN: Opening Thursday July 11, 6pm, July 12-August 4. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat/Sun 12-4pm
CONTACT: Greg Shapley on 9563-6218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
My work is about how it feels to be a woman. And because we are more spirit than flesh, I paint woman as Goddess.
I have always been an artist. I went to the Alexander Mackie Art School in Sydney, now COFA for my BA Fine Arts.
I had many small exhibitions of charcoal and pastel drawings, interspersed with having three children. I changed my name twice – I used to be Patsy Bennett and Patsy Billy.
And then 13 years ago I decided to concentrate on painting – oil painting. I stopped exhibiting as I wanted to wait until my paintings were as good as my drawings. At last they are.
I am the art teacher at Leichhardt Primary School during the day, and at night and on the weekends, I paint.
Twenty five years ago I started practicing Iyengar Yoga and Buddhist meditation. Twelve years ago I included a Qigong practice. I am unsure as to how much this has influenced my paintings, but when I am painting I feel very honest.
I mainly do portraits – they are nearly all self portraits. Spending so much time in meditation familiarises me with an “inner sense” – and it is this that I focus on describing when I am painting. The image looking back at me needs to portray this interior landscape.
The colours are intense, extreme and yet subtle, chosen just for the sheer joy of being beautiful. The face is often broken into intricate combinations of patterns in unexpected colours.
And the eyes reach into yours. Each painting has its own personality- when walking into a room and looking into the eyes you feel a response, and over time you realise that a relationship has grown between you both.
Everything I paint is about how I feel as a human, a woman, a spiritual being. I want to describe how every day is a search for beauty, a search for grace and for patience with difficulties, and just what a challenge at times normal day to day living can be. And yet there is beauty to be found and to be grateful for: real beauty. This is what I want to paint.
My main influences are Beckmann, Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, West African sculpture and then Beckmann again…..
- Patsy Chingwile
Description of key works – Patsy Chingwile
Oil painting on canvas, 800×1000 mm
I found a photo of Kelly Macdonald in the Sunday paper and was transfixed. Her skin is so luminous. I found her irresistible, I had to paint her! She is proud and yet restrained. And all her beauty is supported, encased by her dress- as if she is a magnificent bunch of flowers in a fabulous vase. I wanted to capture that feeling of being beautiful, vulnerable, powerful and fragile all at the same time.
Lakshmi, Goddess of Abundance
Oil painting on linen 1200x1760mm
It was a labour of love painting this traditional Indian Goddess. Every area of life is symbolically represented here in this classical composition – she is understood to be the provider of good fortune in health, wealth, happiness and all things beautiful. She emanates good vibes. I love it that she is almost life size. Standing in front of her I feel blessed.
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Oil painting on canvas, 640x900mm
This painting is as the title suggests – all about the feeling. The stylised face and shoulders, described in a mosaic of delicate crystalline shards is set in a beautiful peaceful landscape, under a soft pink sky. The mood is reflective, gentle and yet, because she is broken up into a geometric display of colour there is a suggestion of contained turbulence under the surface – a change is coming.
Moonlight and Love Songs are never Out of Date
Oil painting on canvas, 500x465mm
This painting just painted itself. I didn’t even sketch her first- she just pushed herself out. She was there in front of me, demanding to be seen. The word that keeps coming up for me is “instinct”. That was how she came about, and it is instinct that she is expressing. The colours are raw, uncompromising, and yet gorgeous, as is she. Her body is extreme, the shapes almost ugly, and yet its awkwardness somehow cradles, even exalts, such a strong sensuality, that an even deeper beauty is expressed. It is as if her nakedness is awful and glorious at one and the same time. Intelligence, passion, honesty, suffering and understanding – it is all of this that she brings to her loving and it is all of this that she wants to be loved with in return.
For more information or larger images please contact Greg Shapley on (02) 9563-6218 or email email@example.com.