The Party’s Over – Merryn Trevethan | Australian High Commission | 10 Aug to 30 Sep 2016

The Party’s Over – Merryn Trevethan | Australian High Commission | 10 Aug to 30 Sep 2016

08 Sep 2016 Gallery

Trevethan is an Australian Artist living and working in Singapore. Her selected engagements include being recently awarded First Prize for the DRIVE – Gillman Barracks Public Art Open Call for her work “Accelerator City.  In 2015, Trevethan was commissioned to create artwork for the new Facebook headquarters at South Beach Tower, Singapore, and is currently in the process of expanding this project. This is her first solo exhibition at the Australian High Commission and marks a chapter of her practice. 

Her geometric abstract forms are made of fields of colour, carefully delineated with varying hues. Her lines emulate outlines of skyscrapers or landmarks. Fields of contrasting and complementary colours abut each other. Unlike a cityscape or a landscape painting, Trevethan’s paintings do not have a horizon or a vanishing point. Instead, lines and swatches of colours depict distance and depths.

One series of works in this exhibition gets its inspiration from Trevethan’s observations of building construction in Singapore. In a city that is constantly in flux and is continuously re-inventing itself, the mechanical crane – a necessary machine for building high-rise apartment blocks and office skyscrapers – is a ubiquitous sight throughout Singapore. “Built to Suit” consists of five panels. Placed side by side, the five panels form a landscape pentaptych. The main subject of the painting, the crane, is represented throughout the pentaptych’s five panels, albeit in a subtle manner. Lines that cross each other form subtle ghosts of cranes. Angular forms of cranes in lighter hues look like cardinal arrows, as if a stand-in moral compass, questioning us city dwellers with what our obligations and duties to one another are. 

As a colour expert, Merryn Trevethan depicts landscape through colour. Colour is not used as a decoration or to beautify - the function of colour is to define space and not merely for aesthetic purposes. In this particular series of paintings, she uses a combination of purple, maroon, and violet. The composition of the paintings suggests that the darker hues are closer to us, while the lighter colours suggest space that recedes further away. This spatial connectedness and associations with depth subverts the idea of positive and negative spaces. Spatial depth is not defined by a horizon line nor recedes along a vanishing line. Instead, by using varying hues, Trevethan manipulates space, coming from the ground or from the ceiling. The combination of colours and the ability to work with colour exhibits a high degree of control and expertise.
Merryn Trevethan’s practice stems from the tradition of abstract painting coupled with influences from Cubism. Just as Cubism eschewed the horizon line and collapses space, Trevethan’s paintings collapse place and time. At the same time, Trevethan develops her own language of abstraction.


Important information: The show will be open from now till 30 September 2016 at the Australia High Commission, please note ID is required for security clearance. There is no parking on site, closest parking is Dempsey area.