Display Cases in the Great Hall: Exhibition Archive
17 July to 14 September 2016
Paintings by Holland Cunningham
Holland Cunningham’s small paintings begin as interpretations of found photographs, some from her own family, others discovered at estate sales or given to her by friends. She plays with effects of light upon the images, reinterpreting and sometimes smearing them, as if the images from the past, like memories, can be altered with time, or the effects of moisture, weather, and age. Creating anonymity by removing specificity, she transforms these images into universal yet sometimes desperately unsettling scenes.
For the narrative of summer, the use of color in some paintings and black and white in others creates a rhythm as simple as the days. Intense turquoise paints sky, water, and the bottom of a pool, while soft pink and golden yellow glazes add vibrancy to black and white, or character to a cloudless heat-filled day. Only the scrawled “No Trespassing” graffiti across the pool seems to disturb a hazy sense of wellbeing. The palette also intrudes upon smeared grey images of dinner parties past, where a dazed rattled look unsettles the viewer. Pale tints animate faces in captured moments of childhood, where big smiles rather than details of scene dominate the memory. In the images of people engaged in social intercourse, sunglasses, gloves and shrugs disguise the interactions, punctuated with hand gestures, missing faces and blurred, or removed identities.
Cunningham sees her paintings as “fragments of a narrative that I continue to change and develop as I add new pieces….in essence I intend to create a new story formed from the lives of others.” Participating in these scenes as both interpreter and editor, she reworks and continues an ongoing chronicle of social and cultural change.
CASE ONE: Light Leaks, Discovery, No Trespassing, Nora, Victoria
CASE TWO: Arrival, Palm Sky, After Dinner, Outer Banks, Next Phase
All paintings mixed media oil on canvas, dimensions variable
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