Bridie Gillman – A space between walls

12 November to 9 December 2020

Artist Statement

My practice is informed by ideas of place, and the ways in which experiences and memories shape our perspective of a site. Everyday observations that could be easily overlooked or forgotten are remembered and expressed in paint using colour and abstract gestures. This process of responding to past experiences from the context of my studio environment offers me different ways of connecting to a place when I am physically no longer there. Memories of a place often shift over time, with details fading and colours changing. My practice welcome’s the distortion that occurs in the process of remembering.

A space between walls is a reflection on a little green house in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Home to Vanie and Greg, they welcomed me into their space for several months in 2014. I had planned to return to Yogyakarta this year to create a new body of work, but the pandemic has postponed this visit indefinitely. In lieu of physically being there, I have spent these past months reflecting on my memories of Vanie and Greg’s home.

Each painting in A space between walls relates to a specific memory within this intimate domestic space. A load of laundry hanging in the sun, patched up colours of the interior walls, fruit fallen from over the neighbouring fence. These remembered experiences are translated through layers of colour and considered brushstrokes, building an emotional sense of this place, rather than a purely visual representation of the site. I have extended this process into a series of glazed ceramic objects, using the material properties of the clay to construct forms reminiscent of domestic objects found in Yogyakarta such as tropical fruits and vessels.

Creating the paintings and ceramics in A space between walls has been a meditative process allowing me to consider how small details can lead to strong connections with, and longing for a space, as well as the people housed within.