Karen Wells

Unravelling
March 15th – April 1st, 2023

Karen Wells Catalogue

Unravelling is a body of work that continues my exploration of lived spaces, the conscious and unconscious mind and the practice of painting. These works are responses to viewing outside space from within a built environment. Looking from windows or doorways, through frames, evokes an instant experience: one of fascination and wonder at the daily and seasonal shifts of light and atmosphere. We seamlessly become aware of opening to the world, aware of its edges and spaces beyond optical clarity. This act of looking out and the attempt to see further, can enable an immediate unwinding and loosening of emotions. We may be unconscious of our feelings until we catch ourselves at this point of awareness. The horizontal, or near-horizontal line can suggest rest and repose, a sense of the infinite and the poetic. These moments allow slowness of breath, the pause of internal clamour, sensory awareness and realizations. We inhabit feelings, become sensorially aware and think more freely, perhaps philosophically and with hope. Perhaps this is an unrealized part of the psyche.  Further, smooth horizontal lines, can express continuity, certainty, peace and even justice.  It follows that alterations to the horizontal, the kinks and gradients, depict the disruptions and diversions for the mind and body. What follows in the studio is a focus, not only on this lived experience of looking, but another levelling-out that occurs as part of the process of painting, on its actions in separate moments. This is seen in the lines as they are drawn, tape as it is extended, colour pressed across the canvas, with its tonalities and saturations, evolving stripes, edges and forms across the canvas, and spaces that converge, coalesce, disappear or stand apart. Unravelling allows this artist the occasion to release, level out and reach for what matters in the studio. And these are actually attempts to emerge from turmoil to arrive at eventual calm and quietude. They hope to show why seeking some perspective within ordinary living has possibilities for wonder, awe, mindful reset and serenity.    Karen Wells