SUBSECTION 27A 2013
28 August to 14 September 2013
Tracey Walker's artworks deal with the division between landscape and urbanscape, lamenting the loss of natural wholeness through the artificial divisions created by human imposition on the land.
Pieces are painted in multiple layers of acrylics and oils onto an etched aluminium substrate. Works initially appear as collections of images, with their specific order and associations revealed upon closer inspection: etched lines connect, numbers stream across panels and blocks of landscape flow across voids to defy the physical break of the aluminium surface. Works are sometimes assembled in several pieces, which are individually structured to allow the panels to be interchanged and compositions may be read in numerous directions - horizontally or vertically, across planes of black, through lines of metallic sheen, to small idealised landscapes - inviting the viewer to ponder the work either as a series of components, or to read the piece together as a coherent whole.
Invasive, red-tipped lines traverse each piece, tracing horizontal and vertical trajectories. Random numbers and harshly outlined shapes emerge from black-on-black compositions, alongside the vignettes of suburban settlement which are scattered throughout the works. Walker has physically etched these lines into the surface of her compositions to create a harsh, precise cut with a sleek aluminium core – a form that is rigid, ruthless and entirely divorced from the environment.
Within this spliced, segmented and disjointed milieu, different segments connect via an externally imposed regime of lines and numbers. The suggestion is that, within the constantly developing urban landscape, there is a division, artificial separation and re-configuration of elements taking place – development portrayed as an intrusive and overlaid pattern creeping inexorably across the natural world.
Under the influence of these hard-edged elements the natural landscape itself almost recedes, shrouded in black and low in colour, suggesting that where once the untouched landscape reigned, it now resides secondary to the formal man-made environment. Taking the form of thin panels reminiscent of film strips and photographic negatives, each work presents a sliver of the landscape reflecting this atmospheric New Zealand environment. These representations of landscape are presented as memories, dreams and remnants: available in snapshots rather than to be experienced in their intended state.