E kitea ai ngā taonga o te moana, me mākū koe
If you seek the treasures of the ocean, you’d better get wet
Guest Artist: Imogen Taylor
Visiting her studio in Henderson
Taylor regularly exhibits with Michael Lett gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau, as well as throughout New Zealand and internationally.
Taylor was named the Paramount award winner of the Wallace Art Awards in 2018, allowing her a six-month residency at the ISCP ( International Studio & Curatorial Program) in New York. Taylor was also awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 2020.
Taylor paints in acrylic on hessian ( which she stretches over canvas). I would describe her work as abstracting representation, or conversely representing abstraction .... using diagonals, fractured lines and forms. Albeit more recently Taylor has been moving towards a more figurative territory in her work.
The conceptual underpinning of her work addresses the queer modernist legacies that she operates in. The positions and images of bodily fragments are immediately recognised by queer audiences encoded with a particular vision.
On arriving in Taylor's studio in Henderson, I was in awe of the sheer size of the space in which she had to work. A very large fresh and clean space with polished concrete floors, clean white walls with very high ceilings. Her paintings for her upcoming exhibition were arranged in a very spacious and organised fashion giving each piece plenty of room to breathe, and also positioned against the back and side walls allowing you to stand back with plenty of room to gaze from a distance. A very large L-shaped couch to relax on allowing her to spend time contemplating the next work while taking in the view of newly completed works!
A studio many artists would be very envious of!!!
I really enjoyed listening to Imogen talk about her practice, how over the last 10 years she has evolved through various methodologies whilst maintaining her non-binary value system in her practice. She talked about her processes and showed us small sketches from which she began her works and talked about stencils that she used to create most of her compositions. She described her methods using hessian and how she enjoyed that this connects her work to textile histories. Her work displays rich, bold and complex colour combinations. Taylor is currently exploring fluorescent nuance in her composition to elevate certain elements. In contrast to that she is also has a body of work which depict darker tones as a relatively recent response to Frances Hodgkins nocturnes. I find these systems and processes very interesting.
Below are some works from an exhibition Taylor had at the Michael Lett Gallery in January of 2021
28 January - 27 February 2021
Imogen Taylor, Window Seat, 2021, acrylic on hessian, 510mm x 610mm
Imogen Taylor, Pervert, 2021, acrylic on hessian, 510mm x 610mm