Elizabeth Mead

Yarra Dreaming, 2023

87 × 107 cm
Lines fascinate us.  We ‘stay in line’, we read ‘between the lines’, we ‘draw the line’. We sometimes think outside the lines. We glean greater insight by ‘reading between the lines’ to find the author’s subtle but unwritten nuances. When learning to colour a drawing, children are encouraged to stay within the lines. Artists see and extract those lines that are the most meaningful to the work. They invite the viewer to enter the ‘between’ spaces created by line, shape and colour. This liminal experience forges a full-circle relationship, where the work becomes fully realized because of the viewer’s engagement with it. Those nuanced, imagined spaces opened up in paintings and sculptures – and into which the viewer is drawn – happen because the artist omitted lines, muted marks, and suggested shapes. This work in paint was inspired by the lines between the flooded Yarra river and shore, between light and shade, between the seen and the reflected, and between the shape and the imagined.

I work in a studio in Newcastle and paint 3-5 times a week, I have exhibited in solo and group shows in Newcastle and most recently in Tamworth, NSW. In 2022 I was a Muswellbrook Art Prize Finalist and in 2021 a Gosford Art Prize Finalist.
Education includes Advanced Diploma Fine Arts, Hunter TAFE 2018 where I specialised in painting an print making, and Master of Arts, University of Sydney 2010 where I studied art and drama therapy. I also completed an Advanced Diploma Management Arts, University of Technology (UTS). 2007. The majority of my working life has been in government in the field of communications, but now I enjoy volunteering and painting full time.

I am an abstract landscape oil painter of structural and expressive light filled Australian landscapes with rich and textured surface details. Although the style is gestural and the canvas often densely patterned, the shapes, colours and sounds of the scene determine the qualities of each suite of works. I think in terms of a series – as one en plein air session may lead to three or four paintings. I like to work loosely and quickly, with many layers of paint applied most usually with a brush but also a stick or knife. The studio work is focused on restructuring and recreating from sketches and photographs of the open air sessions.

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