Table Lands Lisa West McNeice
In my work I probe the idea of domestic and environmental harmony, often prompting questions about fragility and about our shifting perceptions as to the composition of that harmony. I paint objects connected to people now gone and therefore their memory, selective clutter and kitsch, and I seek the at times uneasy beauty in the everyday.
In “Table Lands”, I have sought to explore past themes while also combining them in new ways. I have experimented with foregrounding the work of women that is often placed in the background when telling stories of the land. I have foregrounded and enlarged the small, prized objects and the crafts such as crochet and lacework of agricultural shows and loungerooms that traditionally are not given the spotlight and kudos of art.
One group of canvasses explores the objects from my grandmother’s shelf in enlarged form. In these I have experimented with acrylic paint, stencils and spray paints, perhaps finding a moment when ‘Granny meets Banksy’.
Other pieces combine landscapes or skyscapes from my hometown of Rainbow, Victoria with collaged doilies, stencils and painted or stencilled crochet-work backgrounds. These canvasses explore the overlay potential of foregrounding backgrounds and vice-versa.
Storytelling, with its inevitable intertwining of language and identity, along with the energy and imagination of play are fundamental to my work.
I used to play with the objects depicted, conscious of intense and surreal experiences of connection. I believe the creative energy and discipline of play is what sets us up to receive knowledge and understanding. Much of my work is therefore an exploration of the artist’s - and the viewer’s - shifting place in the concertina motion of the present and the past.