by louisagiffard

A whole new series of works!
Currently I have an exhibition on at M16 Artspace , called Interior/Exterior. These works explore the interaction between the outside world and the inside – how home can be a refuge, but also stifling, and how we try and integrate the natural world into our domestic lives.

Like my previous exhibition The Mysterious North, Interior/Exterior draws a lot from my observations from life. Unlike that exhibition, much of the imagery I worked with was very local and very domestic – my own house and yard. I’ve been resistant to depicting things in my life for so long, but now it seemed right to draw inspiration from what was so commonplace to me.

First, four paintings in watercolour and ink.

26 Suburban Species

A representative of every species of bird I’ve seen in my back yard

Encroach of the Horrible Ornamental Whatevers

A modernist house overwhelmed with the ornamental plants that plague my back yard

Sky Laundry

Dyeing transforms a domestic clothesline into something celestial

Rounding the Corner in the Evening

It’s quite something when you’re going for a walk, turn a corner and find a strange abandoned mattock. 

The next few images are woodcuts. Less a depiction of my surroundings, they explore the Victorian concept of Pteridomania, the desperate desire to collect and tame the outside world. In these works, people are engulfed by the plants they wish to tame.

Some of the woodblocks are in their original printed state, others are hand-coloured.

Bid for Freedom

Vicia Faba

Vicia Faba

Vicia Faba (uncoloured)

Vicia Faba (uncoloured)

Finally, I experimented with knitted works. Using a combination of fair isle and intarsia techniques, I created charts and knitted three images – views through windows, depicting a desire to escape from the confinement of domestic tasks.

The Light Curls Around the Maples, Early Morning

An early morning view in Canada, capturing the brilliant golden glow of the sun upon the trees and fields outside

The Light Streamed Through the Ivy, Afternoon

Ivy bursts through the glass of a shed window, bringing with it the light and air from outside

Laundry View of a Condemned House, Evening

A view at dusk of a house condemned

This last piece has particular significance, as the house depicted is one of the houses due to be demolished under the Mr Fluffy asbestos scandal. The family has long-since left and the house lies dormant, waiting for its eventual destruction.

These knitted works were the most experimental of the exhibition. I’m not entirely sure whether I’d work like this again, but it was an interesting challenge trying to reduce an image to as few colours as possible – like particularly crude pixel art.

If you are in Canberra and you would like to see Interior/Exterior, it is on until the 15th of November 2015.