Spill & Punctum


Kristy Gorman

May 11 - June 3, 2007


Placed as if on an invisible mantelpiece, the framed works of enamel on glass in Kristy Gorman's exhibition 'Spill' speak of beauty, elegance, precision and control. Gorman's works evoke the age-old tradition of painting on the reverse of glass. However, here the ground is the wall itself and the line of paint sits above this surface, casting a sequence of shadows that spill and play across the surface wall. These works require an inquiring intimate eye; the immaculate brushstrokes becoming the outline of sensuous surreal drawings. Using the enamel outline as a starting point, we are invited to trawl though imagery in our own internal library. These shapes and images morph and become to each person, the beginning of an individual narrative.

Some will recall the influence of Chinese calligraphy, where elegant line seduces and delights. For others the internal working of the body might be remembered, as will botanic, anthropomorphic and bio-morphic shapes. All the while, shadows from the painted outline display as if on a projector - a background 'glimmer'. The shadow plays with our eyes as we wonder whether it is our memory of the image itself that is the blurry shadow. 

Punctum V

In 'Punctum', Gorman again uses light and shade to give layer and depth to her work. The viewer is required to bring the same intimate and intense gaze to the paintings, though this time, we see the shadows play above the layered painted surface. The closer we look, the more we see that the small black dots are indeed punched holes or 'Punctum' which act as dark outlines resting above the subtly layered muted hues. Again, the shapes echo a flower, a leaf, or some kind of topographical patter constantly changing the more we look. We reminisce. We might be reminded of embossed velvet, where the background has been painted with an invisible hand to resemble the lining of a beautiful coat or an old tablecloth.

Gorman's works are the antithesis of our bright 'mall- filled world', where we greedily snatch and grab at everything that is shiny and lurid. Instead Kristy Gorman encourages us to simply mediate, so that through her works we can view ourselves more closely.

Elizabeth Smyth


Punctum I and Punctum II

 Punctum I and Punctum II


Spill - installation view

Punctum - installation view