Paula McLoughlin - 'The wide open spaces are a dream'

Wednesday 3 - Saturday 20 August 2022

Click here for artwork by Paula McLoughlin

"I would be lying if said the last couple of years did not make me feel a little closed in.  Separated from my studio, I thought that my practice would morph into something else in that time because my practice had always been an essential part of me. But I found it extraordinarily difficult to just make. The pandemic years were not a period of productivity for me in my practice.  For some it was but for others that is not how it worked as I found myself in different territory.

I am lucky though, and I know that I am lucky. Living in the inner west of a city, I took all the opportunities I could to get out of the confines of my house, but my allowed radius left me without a panorama, I had no clear views, no clear line of sight. There was no space. There are buildings, construction and concrete everywhere. It is interestingly industrial and that became a bit of a trap for me, even though I know I am lucky.

So, in what was possibly a counter intuitive move and being the introvert printmaker that I am, unable to escape to the world of making, I focussed in and dreamt of clear horizons and big skies. I started to delve into my historical travel, dreaming of open spaces, meditating on their grandeur and even though there had been years of isolation there was calmness in the emptiness of the landscapes I was revisiting.

The wide open spaces are a dream is an exhibition of landscapes and memories, of places once visited and captured with hopeful expectation. Landscapes captured so that there is a pathway back to the sensation of being there. I would use these Images like a scent or a piece of music to guide me back to the sensation of being in the open unencumbered, to feel the freedom and sense of place.

These screenprints exploit the process of colour separation with the intention of creating differing layers and textures to bring depth and clarity. The hope is to give the viewer different planes of focus, the opportunity to stare into the distance or look through the textures through to in intermediate focal point. The purpose is always to be a bit dreamy and meditative.