During my recent visit to the Milk Factory Gallery in Bowral I came across the artist Vicki Boswell. She and Susan Heslin were exhibiting their work within the theme of ‘Stepping into View’. I was particularly drawn to Vicki’s work: a combination of paint (mainly water colour or gouache) and collage.
I’ve never been great at working with the human form, especially faces, and I like the way the artist has left some blank for the viewer to imagine. Shading on some of her works adds dimension and a facial impression.
In the pieces above her collage isn’t overpowering but instead adds an abstract surround, anchoring the figures in place.
The two artworks above are made up solely of collaged pieces. In these the background has become more prominent adding to the sense of movement. Again the faces have been left blank for the viewer to imagine.
I guess that as a person interested in collage I’m drawn more to those pieces, exploring how she has integrated torn paper, maps and text into compositions containing minimalist figures.
Some of her works are significantly more painterly which, in my view, creates a very different feel to the outcome.
In the piece to the left she has included facial features, which for me takes away the mystery of the person/people portrayed.
Part of the pleasure I find in her work is the mystery, imagining the expressions, gauging the age of the subject person and concocting my own narrative around the story being portrayed.