THE CELESTIAL & THE MADNESS
EXHIBITION CURRENT TO 26 JUNE 2021
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“My painting combines my long held interest in folk art, the domestic, mythology, Indian abstract tantric paintings, and a commitment to inviting and observing the good. I seek to create psychological refuge for the viewer. With almost all of my new works, singular forms offer both artist and viewer a central focus. Frenzied and automatic layering of paint then gives way to more conscious and considered assemblages of emotions, gathered visual knowledge and motifs which trigger meditative and quiet contemplation.”
Miranda Skoczek, 2021
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.
The abstract painter and self-described ‘colourist’ takes special delight in playing with every shade of the rainbow.
“I’m interested in what resonates with the individual. What’s important is what makes one feel good and has a visceral effect.”
While Miranda Skoczek gravitates toward pink, no hue is off limits for the Melbourne-based painter in her work or home. She discusses her art collection, the intuitive nature of her work and using colour to bring vibrance to a space.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, indeed I have been. I always took great care in the way I would position things in my room, the colours I wanted to occupy it. I was forever drawing, cutting out little pictures and creating collages, collecting and pressing flowers, and looking to nature for inspiration. I had a very active imagination and I loved to draw the places I visited. Accompanying Mum to galleries, the theatre and ballet was an entry to a magical world.
When it comes to your creative process, at what stage does colour come in?
The birth of a new work happens so automatically – I’ve never planned a painting. I can literally start a new painting with the excess paint of a work that sits beside it, or from cleaning brushes off onto the canvas. The first laid colour informs the next colour to be used, and so on and so on. I have a theoretical understanding of colour, but I also employ its use decoratively.
Aside from painting, do you have other creative outlets?
Painting is a lifelong and all-consuming exercise and, except for necessary things like paying the bills and keeping my child alive, everything I do ultimately feeds into my practice as an artist. My everyday is an endless search and consumption of images, and my home is so intrinsically linked with my work. I’m a collector of myriad objects, books, art, tribal rugs, antiques and contemporary furniture.
What colours do you like to surround yourself with in the home?
Every colour of the rainbow and beyond! I do start with a somewhat neutral palette – with a grey sofa and, ideally, white walls – and then it’s a rather carnivalesque look on top. Art covers every inch of my walls. Pink and all of its manifestations speak to me the most. I find it so joyous and uplifting and am forever painting with it.
What art do you gravitate toward for your home?
My art collection ranges from old paintings my grandparents brought with them from Europe (my favourites being portraits of my mother and aunt) to contemporary art of my peers, and beautiful, modern paintings I’ve found on eBay. My Australian Indigenous works I treasure immensely, and I always wish to add more folk art to my collection.
Interview with Elle McClure for Jones Autumn 2021, photo Oly Begg