- Chapman and Bailey, Victoria St. Abbortsford. Melb. Aust. 2007
Aerial landscapes, walls and sheets of metal
Aerial landscapes, walls and sheets of metal - "nominal and metaphoric"* - are the centre of Heather Fairnie's artistic inspiration. The paintings context suggests a before, a present and an after. Each painting's metaphoric context suggests a face, a surface - evolving, constructing and deconstructing. A metamorphosis, which simultaneously suggests environment; harmony and decomposition, process and aestheticism, space and density.
Fairnie believes knowledge and intelligence moves beyond the superfluous projection of the instantaneous image, which has become an indoctrinated visual aspect of contemporary society's projection via mass images and information. The paradigm that contemplation is inactivity rather than activity projects upon us the intellectual constraints within the hyper-reality of mass produced images.
Her paintings are placed within the genre of Laminar Abstraction. This type of abstraction is an assemblage of painted layers, tactile textures and surfaces. Crusted surfaces of decomposition and re-construction, rather than the traditional smooth surface. Carved marks, layered and exposed, organic irrational iconography, which seems haphazardly carved upon the surface, to relay an abstracted form of semiotics, an aestheticism that comments beyond generic codes.
Fairnie's study of the Zen Buddhist philosophy 'Ch-an', and the belief of no separation is honored within her artistic development and current paintings. In viewing her paintings and contemplating the constructive elements, one is left pondering the totality of the surface and that the artist as author, embraces both western and eastern ideals of pictorial construction. Through the manifestation of new knowledge and memory as mind and no mind, the act of improvisation engages the artist in a meditation where process and aestheticism, space and density are one.
Fairnie acknowledges the aesthetic traditions of Eastern Art in both calligraphy and printmaking. Her early mono and etched prints engage the Eastern philosophies found within the subtleties of space and density, the placement of marks and the strokes from which they are constructed. This study has continued into the medium of paint as a constructive philosophy rather than an impressionistic one. She also speaks of the influences of the Spanish Laminar abstractionist, Antonio Tapias and the semiotic works of American artist, CY Twombley. As a painter Heather creates artworks which engage the viewer beyond the visual bombardments found within our society. A contemplative moment where one has to engage in no longer seeing a mountain as a mountain, but a mountain as a mountain!