Mel Kerr - The Dark Matter'
Wednesday 26 September - Sunday 21 October 2018
"Over the last seven years my art practice has focused on an exploration of the nature and form of shadows. From what initially began as a study of bird forms that were a metaphorical reference to the soul and the self, gradually progressed towards a focus just on the raven as a primary aesthetic vehicle. The form and shape of the raven; crow, at once being a solid entity and a representation of its own shadow self. With this as my main I now further explored the raven as the representation of shadows in the human psyche.
A starting point for me was Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows: July 1890, widely believed to be his last painting. Van Gogh once even described himself as a bird trapped in a cage, and this painting could be read as his epitaph. The black bird forms a final release of inner shadows over a stark landscape. I look at my own inner shadows as both a catalyst for artistic expression and a source at times of great pain.
As my body of work developed I looked at shadows through many lenses. I have brought quite literal figurative elements and have combined other symbols. The bird cage, a cage of both circumstance and the mind, the unattainable window and finally the cup vessel its self. It was during my study of the tea cup form that I began to tie in a figurative human profile.
The tea cup and transcendental human shadow form took on a greater significance after my father’s sudden tragic death in 2016. I then saw the cup as a metaphor for the body, the one-time container of the soul and the shadow now a memory of the person.
As my practice has developed I have looked to take the exploration of these shadows further. I draw on all of the symbols I have used into a more sophisticated narrative that explores the nature of the various shadow forms and the memories and feeling the evoke. The shadows both ravens and figurative tell stories of deep loss, of mental anguish and also how the darkness within can inspire great creativity and beauty."