The Pillar, There and Being
In Spite of and Not withstanding.
For Ever. 2011
oil on canvas 88.5 x 87.5cm
Helen Maudsley's paintings are complex, intricate and incredibly profound. Myriad symbols appear throughout the works; obscure objects and motifs which reference the notions of the Whole, Self, Being, Lordship, Defeat, the Human, the Heart and Triumph. As if to prove the old adage 'a picture paints a thousand words', Maudsley has given us the artistic equivalent of a doctoral thesis in psychology.
The title of each painting is carefully considered, and has often been through many incarnations until it has the right psychological punch. They read like poetry and are a key to the symbolism within the work, revealing an aspect of the artist's intent.
In these recent paintings, Helen Maudsley contemplates what she terms the Feral Mind - how the brain can degenerate into a wild, untamed state, with the same demanding and selfish imperatives of a child. This is not necessarily about ageing, but a theory that there is potentially something within all of us that can switch off the Rational, if even for a moment. Most of us quickly regain our composure, or as Maudsley might say, Sovereignty over ourselves, but this state of the Head and Heart can persist in some until their inner selves are all but unrecognisable.
Helen Maudsley is a Melbourne artist, born in 1927. She attended the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne, 1945-1947, and during the 1960s gained a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art from the V.C.A. She has exhibited regularly in Melbourne every two to three years since 1954, especially at Standfield Gallery from 1979 to 1991, and since 2000 at Niagara Galleries. In 2007 her work was featured in Focus on Contemporary Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and she was also the subject of a survey exhibition at McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park in 2006. In the 1980s she designed and collaborated with the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in the making of two tapestries. She has made three overseas study tours.
Please contact the gallery for a list of works, or to arrange a private viewing prior to the exhibition.
The full exhibition can also be viewed on our website.