Opening date: 20 Nov 2019
Running date: 26 Nov 2019
Toni Clarke Solo Exhibition
Opening night - Wednesday the 20th of November
6 - 9 pm
20 - 26 November 10 am - 6 pm
"I would not a bit mind sleeping in the cool grass in summer, and when winter came on sheltering myself by the warm close-thatched rick, or under the penthouse of a great barn, provided I had love in my heart." -Oscar Wilde
There is a beauty in the everyday domesticity of our lives that often passes us by.
In an ordinary moment at home, I sometimes find myself unexpectedly reflecting on my life and it’s in these seemingly mundane moments that I appreciate the quiet and simple richness of life at home. These moments become strange meditations where time is like a dream.
Sometimes I feel resentful for being pulled away from my studio to keep up with the housework, but I always surrender - I know that this is my way of giving love back to the place that nurtures me.
As the seasons change, so do my paintings. The vibrant colours of spring, the shimmering heat of summer, the cold bite of winter and the beating of rain on the tin roof all find their way into my work.
The different weather patterns reinforce the idea of home as a shelter, but to me it’s much more than that - it’s the place where I can smell the cooking from the stove, it’s a warm bed in which I can feel safe at night, it’s where I feel comforted when I’m unwell, it’s where my heart lives.
Home is where real things happen and no matter what monumental changes occur in our lives, home is a constant.
At the moment my practice is concentrated primarily on the figure, and the figures in my paintings are representations of either myself or the people I love. (Oh, what wonderful shapes we are! We can be dark, beautiful, small, sad, happy, and mysterious or open... I’m full of an endless fascination for humans in all our forms.)
The paintings begin with the composition, but I let the colour and the figure direct me. I find myself becoming excited by the abstract elements of the work, as I never truly know where the painting is going. And I love that! Even on those days when a painting isn’t quite working, I still learn something...
It’s funny - I so love the solitude at the heart of my practice, the long lonely hours alone in the studio. But I guess for me the joy I find in painting these figures is that I'm never really alone. As I look around me in my studio, there are friends everywhere.