Katherine Edney 2009
Fractures in Time
28 April – 20 May, 2009
Within painting, there are numerous possibilities for the ways in which a narrative can be compositionally presented in order to communicate a particular emotion or story. Traditional devices including gesture, facial expression, interaction of figures and symbolism establish foundations within the composition to facilitate a narrative response and formulate questions as to the how, what and why. This formal language may also be considered in addition to other concepts surrounding the term narrative itself. The notion of narrative as something which is fluid also encompasses issues of time, movement, and continuity; ideas which seemingly contradict the static temperament of painting.
Through research for my Master of Fine Arts at COFA, I found that the methodologies of continuous narrative paintings from the Renaissance echoed certain theoretical concerns within contemporary cinematic narratives. While painting and film maintain a relationship to some degree because they are both visual media, (in reference to colour, tone and symbolism), the most interesting parallel is the depiction of time. This correlation between painting and film, where elements of the narrative are compositionally presented in a non-linear way, has had the most important influence over the production of recent work.
Certain structures within film, such as event ‘order’ and sequencing resonate correspondingly to the stylistic approach sustained within my work. This ‘jig-saw’ method presents individual paintings (or canvases) akin to pieces of a story which have been sliced up, and placed back together out of their ‘chronological’ order. These chosen snippets may represent a scene or emotion, and uphold their own position or viewpoint in relation to another image or painting.
These unmatched sequences of images, similar to the unmatched sequences in film, can disrupt the perception and flow of space, and sense of narrative order. When sequences are viewed out of order, the perception of events within the narrative change. The viewer may strive to construct the meaning of the work dependent upon each image’s relationship to another, in turn forming the underlying narrative.