Artist statement

Even in the deepest darkness there is light. Can a painter inspire those who see her work to look more carefully at the world around them and discover its extraordinary beauty?

This still life work isn’t political or confronting. I’m not trying to challenge anyone. It’s a reminder that the unpredictability and lurking chaos of the outside world is only transient. Living with beautiful objects that pay tribute to the natural world is an invitation to step back and reconnect with who we are.

My perspective reflects the domestic and the feminine, using familiar objects as the common denominations of our collective experience. I don’t literally paint flowers and fruit, only the emotions they create in me – balance, truth, serenity. I’m interested in the inner life. When I use objects I see them as a vocabulary of feelings and look for a sense of rightness in the combination of composition, colour and technique. What I try to do is to explore myself in terms of paint. It’s personal.

Oil paint has vibrancy, delicateness and strength – it is the perfect medium to suggest the elusive quality of light and express nuance. But in my practice, it’s not my intention to compete with or imitate a photograph. It’s an intimate dialogue between the painter and the painting, which becomes a dance when the work finds its own presence, when the air of the arbitrary vanishes, and the painting is liberated from the artist. Then the work is not a representation of something else, but itself.

Gatya Kelly
Byron Bay 2019