The importance of our personal connection to a landscape is often overlooked, but landscapes - and more specifically, the light that surrounds these places - can elicit powerful emotional responses. Letting in the Light by Sarah Kelk explores this idea with a raw and brutal energy.
We all interpret landscapes differently based on experience, intuition and connectedness, and this influences how and why we are drawn to certain places. Some days, the landscapes surrounding us evoke a feeling of sadness, yearning or emptiness. On other days, all we feel is beauty and hope. It is this unpredictable and ever-changing train of thought that ties us to the natural environment where cycles begin and end in constant rotation.
These works reflect Kelk’s connection to the world around her; her emotional response to landscapes significant to her; and the role that light plays in her life, through colour and tone.
There is a lack of wide views in the works, which creates a sense of emptiness. This is contrasted by dense layers and detailed blocks of colour, communicating a definite liveliness and energy. And while there are no obvious landscapes depicted in each painting, a sense of familiarity and nostalgia somehow emerges from the shapes that fold into, and over, each other.
While we all hold our own personal experiences tied to ‘place’, a single landscape has the beautiful power of meaning more than one thing, to many different people. These experiences can be open and shared, or kept immensely private for moments of solitary reflection and light.
Sarah Kelk is a Melbourne based painter whose work is expressive, colourful and abstract. Energised blocks of colour are central to her work and although traces of structure appear, references to decorative arts, patterns, architecture and nature are visible in a less ordered energy.
Her approach is fluid and intuitive, exploring bold structure without abandoning the organic energy that appears at the beginning of each piece. Sarah submits herself to the processes and influences simultaneously, harmoniously not loosing one idea to the other, but rather connecting them in a new narrative.
Sarah is based in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in the South Island of New Zealand. She has exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions as well as partaking in several collaborative projects. Her work has appeared in publications such as Frankie Magazine, The Design Files, Belle Magazine and Vogue Living. She loves the idea of building up a narrative, layer by layer.