Miranda Skoczek has held solo exhibitions since 2001 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Margaret Lawrence Gallery (Victorian College of the Arts), McClelland Gallery and Linden New Art in Melbourne and internationally in Hong Kong and Denmark. Skoczek has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts. She has been profiled in publications including The Age, Art Guide Australia, Art Almanac, Vault, Australian Art Review and Vogue Living. Skoczek's work is held in the collection of Artbank and prominent institutional, corporate and private collections.
FLOATING MOONS, DIZZYING HUES
29 JULY TO 16 AUGUST 2020
The balancing act of the combined energies of pronounced colour, gestural liberation and the physical materiality of a painted surface, quintessentially defines Miranda Skoczek. Freedoms and boundaries of everyday and historical iconography are in confluence with the natural environment in her impressive oeuvre. Art Almanac spoke with the Victorian-based artist ahead of her upcoming solo show at Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne, ‘Floating Moons and Dizzying Hues’.
I understand you work on your body of exhibited works right up to opening date. Can you tell me about this process?
In the early stages of creating a show, the energy in the studio is one of great passion and frenzy. My process begins very automatically and I’m rather physical with the works. If I start with them lying on the floor, I’m constantly circling, flipping their orientation, pouring the oils (thinned to a watercolour consistency) and covering vast areas with great gestural freedom. There’s a sense of the performative, and I’m having fun, I’m playful by nature. As the majority of my works are layered, I work on several canvases at once, easily ten, sometimes more. Once the joy turns to struggle and angst, it’s handy having the option of turning my attention to a less troublesome work.
Is there a unified direction you are channelling with these works, or are you guided by particular sources of inspiration?
I’m seldom directed by a single idea; I’m a sponge for images, gathered from my myriad books, Instagram, films, eBay, auction house websites – for antiques and decorative objects of every description, and of course, travel. With these works there are the continued themes of duality. Nature and culture. Inside and outside. High and low art. Positive and negative. Spare and fleshy surfaces. I’m as random with my motifs and symbolic forms from one canvas to the next, as I am with the historical references that interest me. I’ve recently returned to Selene, the name the ancient Greeks gave to the moon, as I’m drawn to her links to romance, and her being the eye of the night; the light where there is dark.
These new paintings appear to add to the aesthetic language synonymous with your practice – raw and expressive, a bold but playful use of colour and intuitive painterly abstraction. How important has colour and relying on your intuition been for these new works? And which leads the other?
Intuition is of utmost importance. I have said before I have a completely spiritual connection to my works. Without colour and my intuition, I really haven’t a practice. It’s that simple. Intuition leads the way; I never use colour intellectually – the colours first applied so automatically dictate the atmosphere of the finished work. One colour, mark, form always lead the next.
In the current climate people are seeking escapism from a range of visual stimuli and equally now, arguably more then ever, art is being used to make sense of times – past, present and future. You have previously stated that your paintings are not centred on social concerns and instead are places for escape and restoration. Has self-isolation and social-distancing informed these new works in any way, or changed your usual approach to working on a show? And in these trying times, has the function of your art from your personal perspective been redefined at all?
The only change brought about by the goings-on of COVID-19 has been the way nature has permeated the forms that I’ve reintroduced into my practice. As has always been the case, my pictures are positive in daily life. As a single Mum who feels most supported when immersed in nature, my son and I were/are most fortunate to live surrounded by the beauty of the Dandenong Ranges. It’s been rather interesting to see, that at times I’ve basically painted simplifications of my surrounding landscape.
13 FEBRUARY TO 3 MARCH
"Intuition, the delicate coupled with the raw and performative like sweeps of gesture. Masses of abstract colour are at times bound and bordered, hinting at or representative of forms and motifs that occupy my sub conscious. I am possessed by colour, as I am with a physical expression that is playful, instinctual and led by experience.Specific colour memories, architectonic archways, the arm of an Etruscan vessel act as triggers, leading me to more considered layers, shapes and iconography.My everyday consumption of images informing titles such as Howard as a nod to the great painter Hodgkin, The Etruscans and the afterlife testament to my obsession with antiquity and the decorative. Bit-a This, Bit-a That a reminder that not only do I borrow from the whole history of mark making and the canons of Western Art, but that irreverence and wit are never far from my thoughts."Miranda Skoczek 2019
A New Exhibition Of Raw, Gestural Works From Miranda Skoczek
One of Melbourne’s most collectible contemporary artists opens her first show of the year tomorrow.
Melbourne-based artist Miranda Skoczek rings in her first exhibition for the year with Suggesting Icons at Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Collingwood.
Totems and trophies from Miranda’s subconscious emerge from densely coloured backgrounds in Suggesting Icons. ‘I am possessed by colour… as I am with a physical expression that is playful, instinctual and led by experience,’ Miranda explains of her painterly, gestural works that almost call out to you from the other side of the room.
A dominating palette of greens from deep-sea to moss is spliced and layered with slivers of acidic yellow and candy pink – an intuitive control of colour that is signature to Miranda’s raw, expressive visual language.
Following her exhibition at Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Miranda’s work will also be included in the forthcoming exhibition Gorman: Ten Years of Collaborating at Heide Museum of Modern Art in March.
The Design Files, 12th February, 2019
FLASHES ACROSS THE FIELD
21 MARCH TO 8 APRIL 2018
MIRANDA SKOCZEK DISCUSSES 2020 EXHIBITION ‘FLOATING MOONS, DIZZYING HUES’ WITH RICHARD MORECROFT FOR ‘EXHIBITIONS’ VIDEO SERIES
MIRANDA SKOCZEK FEATURE BY ALICE DINGLE IN JULY AUGUST 2020 ISSUE OF ART ALMANAC
Miranda Skoczek: Floating Moons and Dizzying Hues 9 July 2020 | Alice Dingle The balancing act of the combined energies of pronounced colour, gestural liberation and the physical materiality of a painted surface, quintessentially defines Miranda Skoczek. Freedoms and boundaries of everyday and historical iconography are in confluence with the natural environment in her impressive…