Heather King

23 April - 24 June 2013

Richmond Library Space, 415 Church St, Richmond

Life is Elliptical

Paintings and works on paper in acrylics & ink

Report by Rosemary Mangiamele

The current exhibition in the Richmond Library comprises of 10 art works – 3 on the wall, and 7 in the library foyer display case. The abstract paintings are an exciting exploration of Heather's fascination with ellipses. She uses thin washes for transparency and depth of colour, as well as an overlay of bold abstract forms of ellipses.

Display case, Richmond Library foyer; works by Heather King

Heather writes in her CV: “Where it comes from I’m not sure. But there is something about the shape that inspires me. It is such a useful shape and they surround us. Every time we look at a round object, we are looking at an ellipse.”

Heather moved from the UK 30 years ago, and realised her friends over there were doing the same as her, bringing up children, taking them to similar numerous activities, going to Tupperware parties and so on. She writes: “I realised two things. One, that all our lives run in such parallels, it seems pointless to describe them to any one else. Two, paradoxically even though we lived on such similar courses, each life lived is unique to the liver, and can be changed and turned upside down by who, and what we meet on the journey. Many of my ellipse paintings also have this element of travelling through space and time as part of their story.”

Another of her favourite series are of cycling paintings (not represented here). Influenced by “Fixies” at Northcote Velodrome, she writes: “These have no brakes and no gears. You just go a fast as you can on an elliptical circuit ….. I like them, bikes have ellipses.”


Secret Life of Space, Life Is Elliptical, acrylic, 120 x 90 cm, by Heather King

There are three works on the wall in the main library. The wonderful painting Secret Life of Space, Life Is Elliptical, in acrylic, stands out. It was awarded the Prize for Best Acrylic, in the Waverley Art Society Show in 2012. The movement and flow of the colourful ellipses are bold and strong, with a play of complimentary colours. They create an image of a swarming school of fish.

As a contrast to the strength of Secret Life of Space, Life Is Elliptical, the acrylic paintings hanging on both sides - Dare To Be Different, and Gauzian Knot, Parts 1, 2 & 3 (Triptych), there is a gentle, graceful flow of ellipses in blues, mauves and aquas, over soft greens, lime green and greys, and a white background; which are gentle and visually pleasing. In the the triptych of three separate works, they are joined into one by the Gauzian knot in the central panel.

Gauzian Knot, Parts 1, 2 & 3 (Triptych), acrylic, 51 x 153 cm, by Heather King

In the display case there are seven art works, plus some of the art materials – pencils, brushes, inks and palette, that Heather uses; and educational material on how to create ellipses.

Elliptical Dance, from the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" Choreography Series, in acrylic, was a prize winner at the Waverley Art Society's Highway Gallery "Layers" Competition. This is a superb abstract work, of beautifully painted translucent ellipses, painted in layers, which creates a greater depth to the work.

Elliptical Dance, acrylic, 61 x 61 cm, by Heather King

The other works in the display cabinet are: It’s All About the Layer I, It’s All About the Layers II, Down to the Deep, and Firey Dance, Choreography Series, all in acrylic & ink.

Two palette shaped works are: Study I, felt tip pen, and Study II, ink.

Overall this exhibition is a fascinating exploration of ellipses, and Heather's use of layering and washes have created some very pleasing art works – well worth viewing at the Richmond Library.



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