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They once felt like water

They once felt like water

Llewellyn Skye
30 April 2022 - 26 May 2022

The inspiration for Llewellyn Skye’s inaugural solo exhibition at Wagner Contemporary emanates from a poem by Tyler Knott Gregson that captures the tumbling nature of words in the metaphor of water.

“I love the idea of words being like water. I really want to  capture a sense of that sensation. Like “confetti in a slight breeze” - a line from the poem - my work plays on this,” Skye reflects. Working in mixed media (in oil and acrylic), the artist’s instinctive brushstrokes relay the feeling of energy in expressive and fluid dashes, strokes and swirls of paint. 

In each abstraction we become absorbed in the artist’s medium and materials - our eye follows the course of her brush across the canvas, tracing its rapid movement, markings and dancing lines. For Skye, colour is a “tool for exploration” and an investigative approach to her practice is reflected in a dynamic language that speaks vividly, boldly, and movingly, in each work. 

As well as poetry, the artist draws inspiration from music, nature and exotic flowers along with personal experiences of love, loss and grief. “My work always reflects something about life”, she observes, and the earthy, moody quality of a large-scale triptych featured in the exhibition (below) emotionally resonates with her current interpretation of space, place and time. “This year I’ve needed to focus and refine. To breathe deeply. I’m feeling calmer, lighter”.

Although each work connects with a particular feeling or memory, a true sense of mystery underlies each. 'They Once Felt Like Water' is a collection of paintings that transports us to a level of experience beyond the act of looking, felt viscerally through movement and motion. Each work expresses a range of sensations and invites the viewer to share this journey of wonder and discovery.

Llewellyn Skye is a highly acclaimed and award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited in over 60 group and solo exhibitions.  She is a recipient of the Fenton & Fenton Rising Talent Award (2021), the ALA Abstract Artist Award (2021) and the BLA Award (2018). Skye was Highly Commended in the John Olsen Drawing Prize and was previously awarded a painting residency in Italy. She has carried out numerous commissions and her works are held by public and private collections in Australia and overseas.