AMBER WALLIS

SUMMONED PAINTINGS

EXHIBITION CURRENT 8 TO 26 JULY 2020

WALLISBANNER2
WALLISPHONE

ARTIST STATEMENT

10 Paintings/10 Texts

 

In the spirit of Summoned Paintings, this time I have not written about my work.

Instead, I invited ten of those I communed with during my year in and out of the studio to respond to a painting each in text.

For their support, communion and contributions, I give thanks.

 

Amber Wallis

Photograph Lisa Sorgini, 2020

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Amber Wallis (b. 1978) has held solo exhibitions since 2009 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Wallis’ work has been included in group exhibitions at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2010), the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2008), the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne (2009), regional galleries including Hazelhurst (2017, 2014), Gippsland (2014, 2019), Tamworth (2013), Lismore (2013) and Bendigo (2008, 2019) and internationally in the USA and Canada. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Canberra School of Art and a Master of Visual Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts.

Wallis’ significant career milestones include being awarded the tenth Brett Whiteley Traveling Art Scholarship in 2008, subsequently working in New York, Montreal and completing a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. She is included in Melissa Loughnan’s 2017 Thames & Hudson publication Australiana to Zeitgeist: An A-Z of Contemporary Australian Art and Utopian Slumps: The Collingwood Years 2011. Wallis was featured on the cover of Australian Art Collector issue 58, 2011 and Artist Profile in Melbourne Art Fair Special Edition, 2012 and issue 48, 2019. Her work is held in the Artbank and Arthur Roe Collections as well as various private collections in Australia and internationally.

ARTIST CV

DOWNLOAD PDF

EXHIBITION WORKS

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Bedroom Interior and Drapes After Your Painting Apple Orchard Orgy

2019

oil on raw linen

150 x 150 cm

$10,500

 

The sun breaks through the leaves, momentarily blinding me. I hold the waxen apple in my hand and press my thumb against the skin, anticipating the flesh cracking open between my teeth. Fragments of orange light cut across the scene of Amber Wallis’s painting, Bedroom Interior and Drapes After Your Painting Apple Orchard Orgy. At first glance a study in abstraction, then from the centre of the painting a dense patch of pubic hair emerges. Unfolding around it is a bedroom scene where blurred, faceless bodies writhe together, enveloped between blocks of blue and grey which both support the figures and the composition. A swathe of deep green runs diagonally across the top, a stand-in for the canopy of leaves in Justin William's referenced painting Apple Orchard Orgy. In the tradition of making an artwork after another artist’s, the ambiguity of the title also suggests that this could be the next in a series of orgies.

 

Eleanor Louise Butt is an Australian artist based in Melbourne

Tent Sex/A Structure for Freedom and Containment

2019

oil on raw linen

150 x 150 cm

$10,500

 

Standing on the edge of something, not able to jump off, yet unable to hold back.

Seeing without sight, listening to the veil of light washes, pigments and stains. Like a guided touch that both informs you to move within the frame of the painting, but not wanting to hold your hand through the land around you. Tent Sex/A Structure for Freedom and Containment is a perfect example of both a painting for painters and also a painting for those who are open to the gift of the quiet, more silent, more subtle gifts that exist in our world.

It waits

If I choose not to see, it will never judge me for walking past

It waits

Never wanting, never using tricks or self-indulgent seduction aesthetics to draw me closer

It waits

Not needing light or darkness to be seen and felt

It waits

For it is more than just a fleeting vessel or a passing ship at night, guided to a new destination

It will not carry me, it will not apologise to me, it is not yet for me, I am not yet ready for the gifts that unveil themselves. They are more than singular, they are more than one moment. They are open to me and will return to me, when I am ready, and when I am open to it. Years might pass, it unfolds only one gift, then space and time pass, unfolding another.

It waits

I learn, it shows, not with force or attachment, but with love and warmth, this is why it will always be, like air, like water, like skin, like dirt, like life, like death, like love.

 

Justin Williams is an Australian artist based in Sydney

Two Watching and Waiting

2019

oil on raw linen

150 x 150 cm

$10,500

 

We wait for the right time. And to have time. And for our turn. And to feel ready. And to be validated. And for our stupidity to be revealed. And to discover that hidden talent. And to be rescued from boredom. And to be abandoned. And for a loved one to get sick. And for news of the inevitable car crash. And to feel whole. And to be judged. And to be finally happy. And for life to begin. And to take our last breath. That's the only guarantee. That's the driving force. I wish I could wait well. I wish I could be the kid who's willing to delay gratification on the promise of a second marshmallow like in that stupid 1972 experiment. But I hate that greedy, smug kid. They haven't learnt yet that there ain’t no guarantees in life. Lucky bastard. Promises are made to be broken. Eat the fucking marshmallow in front of you, kid! Eat it and move on.

 

Rachael McCully is an Australian artist based in France

Cowboy, Kneeling Girl and Upside-Down Wisp

2020

oil on raw linen

150 x 130 cm

$8,500

 

Can you think of anything more loaded than the cowboy? He is free on the range and trapped in pursuit; so very hetero and so very homo; juvenile and aged. We load him up. All this sex, all this national pride, all this violence and historical terror. I spent a long time looking for the cowboy in this work, and then I wondered, amongst these lines and colours, what shapes am I actually searching for? How would I recognise him? Whip and spurs? Noble profile? What I see most is rain on a window outside, and a woman taking something in. I see eyes and breasts. It's not about him at all. The cowboy can be anything you want. The cowboy is our raw linen.

 

Bri Lee is an Australian writer based in Sydney. She is the author of Eggshell Skull and Beauty

Erotic Postcard with Haystack turned Cold Brown Oxide Apparition

2020

oil on raw linen

150 x 130 cm

$8,500

 

Loose forms of shelter and humanity, structure and ether weave their gentle story onto surface, dissolving into the linen leaving their ghostly impressions inconsolable yet resolute. There in the vastness of dissolution and apparitions, we find the sudden painterly forms of an artist in tune with history and in dialogue with spirit. There is a sense of spirit that some artists imbue into material and there are some materials that imbue a sense of spirit into artists. I think for Amber Wallis it is a dialogue between the two, allowing spirit of self and material to conceive pragmatic gestures in the realm of stillness and reverie. Why is it we find the gentle haunting of the raw linen so surreal? Who is the ethereal figure finding shelter between realms? What does it mean to be in conversation with summoned ideas? One might look to this painting to find answers to such questions. Seeing a painting's inception to its timely completion is a privilege not often afforded to those other than the artist who bestows its image. Luckily for me, being in close proximity to Amber's studio I see the developments as they ebb and flow on and off the raw linen, as steadily as the tides themselves. Navigating directionally through skeletal architectures, personifications of talismans and reminiscent of the female shamanic spirit worlds the work delves through the subconscious of a considered and invoked motherly energy.

 

Heath Wae is an Australian artist based in Mullumbimby

Four Guides and Presences Always Watching

2020

oil on raw linen

150 x 130 cm

SOLD

 

In the space between waking and sleeping lies a portal. It manifests as an empty space with a ringing sound and I know I’m in the place where spirits can communicate. The problem is the awkwardness of the communication, like trying to speak a language you’ve never known. I speak in muted English to send messages to the dead and wonder if they can understand. Sometimes I hear static - like the sounds between tuning into the radio. When there is too much interference and dark energies descend, I call out for the spirits of light to guide me. I will never see them, but I believe that they are there. If they’re not, then believing is enough to pull me out from the murkiness of my subterranean world.

 

Heidi Yardley is an Australian artist based in Melbourne

Orgy Structure

2020

oil on raw linen

150 x 130 cm

$8,500

 

Low self-esteem is a hell of a thing and a curse since birth. As anyone who’s never experienced the everyday knowing confident strut of an assured sexual conquerer, I’ve always been the last one to know that I was considered worthy in the eyes of others. While I considered my criminal shyness to be a personal point of pride in a society that champions predatory sexuality, it wasn’t until I attempted to exit alone from a loft of dwindling strangers that my wrist was grabbed, and I was dragged, out of a well-lit elevator, and through a doorway, and into the pleasantly mysterious darkness, and a forced invitation into an orgy, that I truly discovered the true blissfulness of being anonymous.

 

Brian Lee Hughes is the founder of SADE Gallery, Los Angeles, Castleface Records, Do Not Disturb Records, Skunk and The Cisca Collection

Peachy (Threesome)

2020

oil on linen

150 x 130 cm

$8,500

 

Her paint is body

Her paint is flesh

Her paint is skin

You have to like it to want it... Her and the paint... then you and the paint. That’s the operation, aptly described as Peachy (threesome) – the artist, the painting and the viewer.

The idea of skin with its sense of sensuality, giving life to a surface, skin on skin contact,

the parallel of eyes contacting the skin on the paint, it is more about feeling than seeing,

like a loving exchange, suggested and demonstrated by the artist’s hand and nothing other than the act of painting.

This work is an evocative invitation into the relationship of the artist and Her paint and you.

 

Matt Nache is the Director of PAULNACHE Gallery in Gisborne, New Zealand

Women

2020

oil on linen

150 x 120 cm

SOLD

 

I’ve never seen a ghost

And won’t

But if I was to I know it would be the ghost of a woman

I don’t know why

Is more of a woman left?

Did she touch more?

Hold more?

Or was she always like that?

Lighter?

Less of a thing?

It’s pointless to wonder

But I do.

 

Amanda Maxwell is a New Zealand writer based in Surf Coast. She is the author of Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These

Warm Interior

2020

oil on linen

120 x 120 cm

$6,800

 

We crave warmth and solace unconsciously and are drawn to things that mirror standing by a fire, such as wearing your grandfather's cardigan, the dulcet tones of the footy on the AM wireless or the scent of a dry eucalyptus leaf found on the footpath. Yet this kind of warmth, the kind of emotional heat that keeps us safe and takes us back to being seven years old again, is seldom found. So we scour, we search and we lean on nostalgia in search of the eucalyptus leaf that wraps its arms around us to make us seven again. Nostalgia has become a lifeline to a feeling that evaporates as every day passes. The warmth turns to realisation, and nostalgia taunts us with the realness of time, the cruelty of love and lost innocence of thinking that a cardigan can shield us from the cruelties of the world.

 

Jordy Kerwick is an Australian artist based in France

PRICES EXCLUDE GST AS ARTIST IS NOT GST REGISTERED