Lisa Pang
Soft Paintings
12.10.22 – 29.10.22

I like to think of painting as action, object and discourse, all at once. Going from word to vocabulary, my practice explores the ways in which the form of painting can express those conflations and contradictions, as a visual language. With a materially reductive approach, I situate my work in the gap between expanded and contracted painting. Traditional materials and conventions are placed alongside unconventional ones to enable a playful and process-driven approach. In my mind’s eye, I try to make work that is – but isn’t – or merely resembles – painting to capture that elusive nature of formal identity, in form.

The exhibition Soft Paintings contains a series of works that consider the role of textiles as support for painting. The possibilities of cloth as canvas unfolds a myriad of evocative social, cultural, and material histories. Textiles are an intrinsic aspect of our everyday material culture however as creative expression were historically gendered and relegated as craft. Metaphorically, as surrogate canvasses sourced from the domestic realm, these works play with that ambivalence. They suggest human rituals of support; the drinking of tea, the resting body, the private space. Soft Paintings addresses the concept of surface whether in painting or life by speculating on what may be under or behind it. In absenting and substituting some of the formal elements of painting, an exchange arises about what it is to have support, put on a surface, or enter a threshold space.

Soft Paintings invites you to consider the minimum material conditions for a household textile item to perform as a painting. The exhibition positions painting within fragile frameworks; of familiar materialities made unfamiliar. Is it an art object, decoration or commodity? As textile architecture, Soft Paintings muses about shifting meaning and form between the private (domestic) and public (gallery) spaces.

Lisa Pang (Lisa Sharp)

September 2022

(click to enlarge)