Kerryn Madsen-Pietsch
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Sugarama Gallery Exhibition Review ELEVATING THE SPIRIT

Exhibition Review ELEVATING THE SPIRIT, Solo Exhibition by Kerryn Madsen-Pietsch. September 2007, at Sugarama Gallery, Mourilyan.

Kerryn Madsen-Pietsch alluded to the courage and perseverance that it takes to be an artist in one of the didactics that supported her exhibition 'Elevating the Spirit' displayed recently at the Sugarama Gallery, Mourilyan. And it is this message of perseverance and serious endeavour that underpins the rhythmic harmonies of colour and tone that represent three years of her work.

Kerryn's journey of creativity has been incremental, built through experience, thought and physical process to achieve solutions along the way. Her attention to surface texture, repetitive motifs, structure and colour do provide exquisite moments of beauty and tranquillity, but in my mind the richness and clarity of colour handling is more successful when Kerryn takes a step away from process and allows mechanical intervention (printmaking and digitisation) to intervene, softening the effect of rigid adherence to process outcomes. While the visual effect of the artworks do 'elevate the spirit' through their aesthetic qualities, my search for the stories of experience, the spirit and the personal, remained frustrated by the veils of paint and texture. If Kerryn is more able to expose these narratives, a deeper experience will ensue for the viewer.

For me, it was the hand built three dimensional basket forms that provided the best balance of thought, process and material in this exhibition ('Bound and Unified in Contrast' pictured). Kerryn's attention to detail, superb handling of repetitive layering and obvious control of the mediums she uses (banana fibre, waxed string* and other organic materials) fuse as one in these works. These circular fibre forms more completely capture that sense of life and hope, of looking out and of looking in, of restraint and freedom.

It does take a brave person to expose one's own self to the public eye and also takes great courage and dedication to remain focused and true to purpose in an industry that is highly subjective and difficult to negotiate. But I sense that Kerryn will continue to rise to these challenges steadily developing her oeuvre and style into the future. Valerie Keenan.

ARTS NEXUS - EDITION 65
January - March 2008 (page 30)
www.artsnexus.com.au

*artist's note: its linen thread and not waxed.