Line, Colour & Form: Michelle Benoit, Jon Thomas & Molly Thomson

7 May - 1 June 2022

Line, Colour & Form, a group exhibition featuring 3 artists: Michelle Benoit, Jon Thomas and Molly Thomson. 

The concept of this presentation plays with the idea of line, colour & form. Exploring the contrasts between each aspect of their composition while at the same time grasping for balance and harmony the artworks presented are a celebration of shape, light and material. 

 

Michelle Benoit transfers memories from her past to sheets of colour. The overlays must be translucent or transparent so that there is little, or no interference with the purity of the colour that she has chosen, therefore making it more real. People and places are transmuted through paint to surface. Recent, distant and all that is in between is rearranged, stratified, and glued to bulletproof materials and the occasional soft, opaque seam. 

Light and its direction are central to the work. The Illumination of colour layered over colour and the visual mixing that the light brings is often an element of unknowing. Light and shadow, hue and intensity are altered through placement and the editing of form. Light is considered and redirected by employing penumbra and system. This process of cutting away and adhering the parts to make whole, repeats excavating elements that she can build on. Michelle is always searching for a new order and sequence of time and events in an art object, to see what it looks like. 

 

Jon Thomas constructs wall-based three-dimensional sculptures using a combination of contemporary and traditional materials from casting with plaster of Paris to thermoforming with industrial materials including acrylic sheet & EPS (polystyrene). Decontextualising industrial materials, Jon Thomas plays with the contrast between the hard clean lines of the man-made up against the soft tactile nature of traditional plaster of Paris. There is a balancing act that he is exploring. Working with purely monochromatic colour schemes, Jon’s work focuses on form over colour and a reduced palette suit the way he wants his forms to communicate with the viewer. 

Jon’s latest sculptures are constructed using a spontaneous subtractive process of hand-cutting dozens of geometrical shapes, stacking, balancing and finally glueing the individual forms to wooden boards. After assembling and glueing he applies several layers of paint & plaster. This recent, freer body of work reaches beyond some of his purer earlier examples, leaning more towards process art than pure minimalism.

 

Molly Thomson’s work concerns the performance of the painting as an object, generally using the conventional painting panel as a springboard for action and a vehicle for thought. She is interested in conditions that confine, resist and limit, and in what happens when those given conditions are subject to question and boundaries are breached.

The process begins with de-stabilising the traditional rectangular format through acts of cutting that destroy the panel’s symmetry and begin to animate the object. Removed elements may be returned, recycled or repurposed, but the tiny losses that occur with each cut cannot be entirely made up for; scars and mendings are evident in surfaces formed of multiple layers of poured paint. 

 

Molly’s paintings present their facades and sometimes a glimpse of their interiors. In some pieces structural displacements trigger complication and uncertainty in the object; elements that seem to be exposed parts of the painting’s substructure are found to be not in the expected place or orientation, generating a question about what is being seen. The painting is reticent. It alludes to what cannot or shouldn’t be seen. Operating between acts of damage and reparation, Molly looks for a kind of concentration that can be reached through excisions, shifts and accumulations. With their imperfect geometries the painting/objects are newly ordered, but not without uncertainty.