Glasshouse Port Macquarie Regional Gallery – Neil Frazer
Whilst in Port Macquarie we visited the current Neil Frazer exhibition at the gallery.
Some text has been taken and adapted from the catalogue.
My husband and I found this to be an exciting exhibition which was both enlivening and dramatic. These large-scale paintings were constructed with a violent application of paint with structured layers bringing a dimensionality to the works which only added to the explosive effect.
Very little, other than the subject matter, can be appreciated from these catalogue photographs.
As for myself, a no-hope painter, I firstly gazed in awe at the bold strokes, the vivid colours and the sheer size of the pieces before looking more deeply into the layering and paint application.
What is it that particularly strikes me about these works? Well, what comes to mind is freedom. Strange, I know. When I attempt to paint it is always an agony, an agony of trying hard, an agony of attempting to see where I’m going, of getting it ‘right’, of trying to see the myriad of colours that go to make up my subject matter. In these exhibition pieces I see confidence, someone who can look beneath the surface to distinguish colour, light, direction and above all, form and movement.
When I paint I’m constantly watering down, thereby flattening my images, but here I saw many textural layers with sculptural paint building the sea, the cliffs and the rocks. White foam stood out in thick splashes rising from the background. Then there were strange squiggles in the water. Look closely, particularly at Drum, and the white lines in the sea. How on earth does someone know that will give the effect of movement?
And the colours. In Anchor Me, above, the light and shadow playing over the cliffside I thought was extremely impressive.
In Wild Rock I was very interested in the foreshortened reflected image and I like the turbulent sea surface against the absence of sky. The white areas of all the canvases seem to create more drama having been left plain.
I really did enjoy this experience and I hope to be able to be a little freer in my own drawings and (occasional) painting.
The weather raged outside the gallery, gale force winds blew, the rain pelted down and we stood inside drawn to the turbulence of these large art pieces. It was terrific, stimulating and the fierce elements could be felt both inside and out.
Yes I would love to have one of these on my wall. The energy just pours out of them.
Photographs and some wording taken from catalogue with kind permission of the artist via Martin Browne, Martin Browne Contemporary, http://www.martinbrownefineart.com/.
The scanned catalogue photos were particularly poor quality and I’ve tried to do the paintings justice through Photoshop. I believe I’ve done a reasonable job and I hope I have not offended the artist.