Afterglow: The Tricycle Gallery
14 April – 16 April 2005
Once in a while we come across a scene, beautiful in its simplicity, which reveals a perfect, unseen and random composition. Be it the particular angle of a tear made by a billboard sign, exposing an unintended relationship with the poster which came before it, or the piercing radiance of a cool blue door against the dull, dusty stone of its surrounding walls or, indeed anything at all. We cannot say why the image sings but we know it does. The experience can best be described as finding that everywhere your gaze turns, striking combinations and contrasts of colour, texture, shape, line and tone hit you between the eyes.
Kitty Stirling has a remarkable eye for natural and accidental beauty. Each of her works on canvas, board or indeed her photographs, contain this particular quality and every work reveals to us some incisive clues as to the way she sees the world. Her mastery is in her intuitive ability to find and notice.
Stirling’s working process is centred in a fluid relationship between the simple but remarkable details and incidents she captures on her travels and the formal investigation she embarks upon each time she creates a painting. A fine balance and one she juggles every time she works on a painting.
The Mediterranean has always held a strong attraction for artists and no less for Stirling. She has spent a great deal of time exploring the shimmering landscape and architecture of Greece and Turkey, in particular the island of Samos, and many of her paintings in this exhibition pay homage to her experiences there.
In her recent work Stirling achieves a deep sense of the places she has visited always combined with a parallel journey in paint as one wash partially obscures or sometimes reveals a previous mark. Radiant colour combinations and the most lively of paint applications delight the viewer’s eye. There is no trickery here; traces of every stage of the painting’s evolution are left to be seen and evoke the sense that these works have been make with a zest and innocent wonder comparable to a child’s amazement at what their hand can do in creative play.