Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future and time future contained in time past.T.S. Elliot
On walking into 1st Avenue what struck me first about “Here we are” was the beauty of hue; of pale, pastel complementary compositions curated to directly resonate with my personal sense of what is beautiful. I just loved it.
Then I tried to look at each painting individually but I keep connecting them into groups, relationships, trying to see the story between and beneath them. I allied them together through colours and themes, through my impressions and slightly evasive sense that something shadowy was either imminent or, (as the artist referred to her work) “scarred with the energy of past events”. Works such as Drift, depicting what looks to be sentinels or termite mounds? They seemed fixed but moving either toward an abyss or from a place to never look back upon.
The works brought to mind questions to do with time; ‘what had happened here in the woods, in that house? What had the mountain born witness too with great and reassuring indifference?” Some felt lonely, some sinister and others still and reflective. It left me with a beautifully melancholic sense that evades exact wordy description but speaks through the images themselves. What exquisite work.
Each image seems to ask the viewer to locate themselves in the landscape, the place of memory and association. Where does this remind me of? What does it trigger for me? For the artist speaks to our nostalgia for place and our yearning for fantasy (or science fiction) Is that mountain Shambala? Is it on another planet or beyond the realm of death? The mountain may well be a New Zealand landscape in unusual hue but it still has majestic and mysterious influence.
Amelia Dispain has taken the ideas of past works and built on them to move from a focus on houses with seemingly peaceful facades and sinister happenings within to woods and landscapes that suggest a past or a future wrapped in ambivalent mystery and enthralling possibilities. The works speak directly to the sub conscious part of our minds, dreams, nightmares, other worlds and existential mystery’s we grapple with but just have to relish for the beauty that they are.
How does an artist manage to depict so much lingering mystery? According to Amelia Dispain through daily practice and discipline. Such a grounded, authentic approach doesn’t surprise me for I knew Amelia primarily as a yoga teacher, one that inspires my own daily practice but now I know her as an artist I see where daily routine and commitment can lead… to the universal, the archetypal and the very beautiful.Amelia Disspain Drift 2015 Oil on canvas 510 x 610 mm