Francesca Condello

Richmond Library Exhibition Space

415 Church Street, Richmond

'Wallart, On the Rise' - Acrylics and mixed media on paper

21 January - 22 March 2010

Francesca’s seven textural abstract paintings in acrylics and mixed media varied considerably in size and subject, from a tiny 12.5 cm square canvas, to a work nearly 2 m wide. She wrote of her works: “I aim to produce paintings that invite the viewer to engage themselves with the subject presented to them. ... Much of my work comes from people, colours and materials found. These artworks explore memories of loss, elation, conflict and accomplishment.” I took up the invitation to view the subjects portrayed - colours and textures, characters, emotions, objects and ideas, and a cat.

The tiny work, Heart Rush, was exquisite - a red and black heart shape on a pale background, textured with threads and thick paint, and outlined and ‘framed’ in thick lines of yellow-gold drawn straight from the tube. In her works, Francesca incorporates different materials to create texture and depth, including wool and cotton threads, gold glitter, and drawing with paint. In Anastasia, a work just 38 cm high, and 140 cm wide, the texture of the oblong shape outlined in yellow-gold on a rich red background was enhanced by “scribbles” of threads, painted over in red.

I thought Ned Kelly was a particularly good example of a painting that invites the viewer to engage with the subject. The squares and oblongs within oblongs were easily recognisable as abstract representations of the famous metal mask. I liked their sketchy outlines, drawn with paint tubes, and the two fine threads criss-crossing the work, giving an extra subtle detail. In Golden Orb, the largest and longest work, three square images were pleasingly outlined in black from the tube, and spirals drawn within.

Ned Kelly, acrylic & mixed media on canvas, 74.5 x 99.5 cm, 2007

Wishing Well showed quite a different approach - yellow-orange-red painted in slabs against a smaller area of cerulean blue, with slashes and lines drawn into it creating lovely textures. Francesca had said that it could be hung either vertically, or as in this case, horizontally. It gave me the feeling of looking into cool, shadowy water. Looking at the orange area in the horizontal position, it also made me think of the profile of a man speaking kind words! I enjoyed these different aspects.

Review by Cressida Fox

Heart Rush, acrylic & mixed media on canvas, 12.5 x 12.5 cm, 2009
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