30 June – 1 August 2021

Emily Galicek

Chaotic Good

How can a painting visually represent the way it feels to exist in the world today?

Social existence, particularly in a pandemic-affected world, is mediated by screens, digital content, social media and images. For a long time, I have been interested in the role that painting might play within these forces of social mediation: the painting as type of screen, and the screen as a type of painting. Using the hand to physically render imagery and concepts that are otherwise intangible and nebulous.

The paintings in this exhibition are made from imagery of antique and vintage textiles and patterns, all sourced through extensive internet searching. They chart a movement from handmade object, to image on the internet, to Photoshop composition and back to physical painting. I am fascinated by what is lost and gained in this kind of movement; the imperfect act of translation from screen to painting, and the use of the labour-saving computer to create physical artistic labour.

How, then, might one paint in a way that feels as chaotic as lived experience? The answer, in part, is to build up, and up, and up. To layer colour, to layer form, to layer pattern, to liquify, to warp, to expand and contract all at once. To make chaos and excess aesthetic categories unto themselves. Maybe some of these paintings take a long time to decipher. Maybe they are confusing, even funny. That, I argue, is a chaotic kind of good. 

Emily Galicek lives and works on Gadigal and Wangal land.

Installation images by Docqment