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The Wattle Room Chapter 8: Perhaps

The Wattle Room Chapter 8: Perhaps

Genevieve Carroll
9 October 2020 - 28 October 2020

Genevieve Carroll lives in Hill End, a place surrounded by nature. In this quiet and isolated space she creates poetic, interior worlds that intuitively speak to a larger experience of humanity’s relationship with nature’s force and fragility. 

The tenuous relationship between humanity and nature is ever present in the scrubby landscape of Hill End, scattered with hundreds of patterned shards of ceramics from the 1872 Gold Rush era. Carroll observes, “These shards were once placed on a table as objects, and are linked to the complex narrative of each family”. Embracing absurdity, her gestural paintings enliven the domestic objects, presenting the wandering and teetering jug as metaphor for self in the landscape.

Influenced by modernist literature and its characteristic undoing of paradigms and meaning, Carroll’s process deconstructs form and image. Mirroring Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’, Carroll’s drawings play out the rotating focal beam of the lighthouse that highlights points in conversation. Distilling compositions in scale, tone and line, the glimpse of an image leaves the works open to the viewer to shine their own meaning and associations upon them.

The cyclical layering and removal in Carroll’s making results in abstracted works with remnants of objects and hints of memories. Line, gesture and colour are added and hidden. Nothing is certain in the shifting compositions. Carroll embraces the chaos of uncertainty and its creative possibilities for form and meaning. Absence and presence coexist, and in this ambiguous tension the work shifts between nostalgia and longing to pragmatic optimism. By examining humanity’s place in relation to nature through humour and absurdity, Carroll playfully undoes the past to find meaning for the future.

By Lucy Stranger

Genevieve Carroll graduated from the National Art School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004. She was the recipient of the Tim Storrier and Annette Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Award, and carried out her residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts (Paris) in 2007. Carroll's work has been exhibited in major prizes, including the Portia Geach Memorial Award, and is held in private collections and public institutions such as Bathurst Regional Gallery and the National Library of Australia.