Recent paintings by Chelsea Lehmann and Peta Dzubiel
28 May – 26 June 2010
An exhibition of two contemporary Australian Painters, ACSA Lecturer, Chelsea Lehmann and
NSW artist Peta Dzubiel. Chelsea Lehmann was listed in 2008 by the Australian Art Collector as
one of Australia’s most collectable artists and Peta Dzubiel is an Honours graduate from the
College of Fine Art at the University of NSW. The exhibition will showcase recent paintings by
Lehmann and Dzubiel who share a common theme of suggesting temporal ambiguity. Their
works both explore pictorial situations suggesting reality is not one thing but a combination of
remembered, existing and subconscious experience. – Prue Gramp 2010
Time is then
The paintings depict the bohemian existence of nomadic performers and the landscapes they occupy. I am interested in the transience of travelling entertainment and the nostalgia which is often attached to these temporary worlds. The paintings retain a sense of a bygone era, subject to both the potential and the limitations of our imagination. The figures populating these worlds construct and participate in the impermanent and theatrical nature of their chosen profession, living at the fringes of society: a life that is not mainstream.
Time is then envelopes painterly qualities to conjure up emotive scenes, where the mundane landscape is transformed into a magical world and the representation of transitions in nature capture a moment in time. Transitions between twilight and darkness attach an eerie strangeness and poetic sentimentality by placing the viewer in an ambiguous state of conflicting meaning and emotion.
The paintings draw reference from Romanticism, using the mood of the natural environment to create a sense of theatrical drama. The carnival genre is employed to explore the innocence of a child in a knowing world. This is expressed using a non-linear narrative to create ambiguity and a sense of mystery. The carnival becomes part of the landscape to create an aesthetic where the contaminated natural environment becomes a thing of beauty. Nature provides the drama while the carnival scene is left static and still.
The figurative addition of the child symbolises the romantic notions a child has of the carnival world. The paintings engage with the curiosity of a child, their imagination and temptations. What allures a child highlights the child’s vulnerability. Through the eyes of a child we romanticise the carnival and these nomadic peoples. In doing this we exploit their image in our imaginings and neglect their realities. What time was then, is now.
Selected works below
Outskirts, oil on canvas, 91.5 x 1.22cm
Outskirts, oil on linen, 30.5 x 35.5cm
Ava, oil on linen, 25.5 x 25.5cm
Home, oil on linen, 30.5 x 35.5cm
Dusk, oil on linen, 30.5 x 35cm
Time is Then, oil on linen, 35.5 x 35.5cm
July, oil on canvas, 76 x 91.5cm
Artist Talk: Chelsea Lehmann talks about the exhibition Time is Then
Click on link to view http://youtu.be/RsBtbhnWyzQ