The work of Cathy Blanchflower, like much quality visual art, tends to defy description through words. It is afterall visual. The eye is the entry point which the intellect and emotions follow. For Blanchflower, rigour and structure play a part in the process, but her quarry in painting is primarily about communicating and sharing feeling - not ideas - and the final result is an experience, rather than an intellectual position. She is not particularly concerned where she sits in the pantheon of art, nor hindered by the outdated ideology of "the new". She is intent on the formation of a visual language.

Op art, a movement that first came to prominence in the 1960s in the work of Bridget Riely and Victor Vasarely comes to mind when looking for references, as does the influence of Islamic art. The extraordinary beauty of islamic art is rooted in an abstract ethos - few images are tolerated - and the purpose of these patterns, like the paintings in Catholic churches, is as a spritual bridge, a reflection if you will, between the viewer and God. Blanchflower's work is about reflection - reflected light and reflected emotions. There is a spirituality pervading the works but the paintings are not particularly mysterious and recalling the words of Frank Stellar - what you see is what you get.

The paintings are constructed in a painstaking and meditative process that calls to mind aboriginal rarrking. Individual sections differ as the infill of colour takes on an organic, perhaps feminin role. The overall sensation is one of depth although the surface is flat and appears to shimmer and float. Despite the complex layering the paintings are deceptively simple. We are reminded of the act of seeing as one cannot look continuouly without the painting mutating, thus repeated looks and memory are required to complete the whole.

Blanchflower's images, once secured in the mind's eye, hand there like a hook. She is able to reference clusters of images such as buildings or in earlier works, such as "Sky Net", the reflection of clouds upon sky scrapers. The recent time spent in NYC allows familiarity with that city. The seemingly digital squares, each painted with its own nuance, recall for me the receiving and disgorging of endless crowds from subways and the flashing rectangular windows which roar by as trains. The paintings are equally a point of departure and destination. Blanchflower obviously felt the pulse of the city; the pace and excitement of urban life are communicated in pure abstact terms similar to Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie Woogie". Blanchflower captures the charged atmosphere of nature and the city, which leave us full of light and energy.

- Bill Gregory, Sydney, February 2004


17 March - 17 April 2004

Exhibition features:

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Please note, works in previous exhibitions may no longer be available, please visit our stockroom for available works