Not Far Off – artists floor talk by Alex Smith and Lisa Clunie,10am Saturday 24th September.

Images are everywhere, our eyes and brains are constantly scanning images on social media. Our mobile devices enable us to photograph our experiences throughout the day where they become memorable as highlights regurgitated by Facebook years after the fact. This bombardment of the senses occurs constantly.
Artists Alex Smith and Lisa Clunie undertake to uncomplicate their imagery by engaging in the abstract. Their chosen mediums encompass painting and photography where they work the substrate with a reductive purposefulness. Their work is built up from collected stimuli, where texture, colour and tone are all consequential and at the forefront of the finished piece.
Abstract composition through photography is a discernment designed to capture the viewer’s interest. Clunie’s black and white photography touches on a rare insight of nature, things we take for granted on a daily basis. A close observation of the natural world with input from fractals, geometry, and random happenings, like rain drops on a window. All documented by the observant professional eye and produced as silver gelatin prints.
Alex Smith is a painter, and works in a similar vein to Lisa Clunie’s painting, both artists look closely at the painterly surface and pare their work back to the necessary elements. Their observations are rarefied, independent of a standard narrated art environment. A moodiness of nostalgic memories is an ongoing theme in Clunie’s paintings, almost painted as if viewed through an unfocussed lens. Images are gently painted with simplified, sympathetic backgrounds. Smith’s work moves past substrate and imagery pops in, sometimes monolithic, with resonating lines, dots, and comparative colour sets, bouncing off each other. He has also pieced together flotsam and jetsam from the coastline, discarded off cuts made into multi- faceted timber panels. These have been deconstructed then reassembled with a clear aesthetic path, non-narrative, just an inclination towards an interesting outcome, raw yet orderly. There are resonating optical illusions, white on white, human error, rub outs, wabi sabi, (the beauty of the imperfect). Smith has an understanding of art per say, but his making tends to be catalysed by life, its struggle, and his own idiosyncratic leanings. There is architectural element, an earlier passion, but with time, his work has trans mutated progressively, and each piece is a signature of his aesthetic.