Amber Stokie, And So It Goes

“This body of work is about moments: moments of support, moments of togetherness, moments of quiet ritual, moments of love and intimacy within relationships. We have control over the frequency and nature of these moments, we decide who and how we are with others. In today’s disordered and increasingly chaotic world, this acknowledgment seems pertinent and important. I appropriated the title And So It Goes from the love song written by Billy Joel in 1983. A song about emotional vulnerability and compliance in love’s journey.

The ideas in my work are gathered from different sources: my own life experience, music, images from the internet and observation of others. I try not to put boundaries around source material or medium and I don’t work with studies which is why stylistically there is variation in my work. Once I have a basic idea of what I want to achieve, my intention is to get the marks down quickly. Mapping out the composition within the first hour helps to retain what it is that initially inspired me and preserves the energy in the work. Layering and enhancing colour then becomes the focus. Throughout this recent series my work has become more suggestive and less literal as my explorations lead me to a place where figure and landscape merge.

David Hockney and Katherine Braford’s use of colour, Amy Silliman’s mark making, more specifically her work with couples, Marlene Dumas’s portraits and looseness in her work. Above is just a small example of the artists who have inspired me in recent times in terms of how they work with paint. I’ve worked with video and performance in the past so there are many artists not listed whose approaches have influenced previous work.”

Amber Stokie is a Geelong based artist known for her figurative paintings on paper and canvas. Drawing from real and imagined situations where bodies connect and interact, Stokie explores themes that interest her about positive human interaction such as togetherness, balance and harmony. The Heightened feelings of interdependence and separation are experiences that Stokie can engage with (as a triplet) and considers in her work. “My background includes performance, video and text which have proven to be a perfect fit for what I want to communicate about relationships especially throughout my recent MFA journey, however what I find intoxicating about paint is the way in which it allows me to work in the studio – ferociously and always in a state of change. Paint simply excites me, I like my medium of choice to not only suit the content which is important, but also be a good fit for the way I naturally like to work.”

Amber Stokie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Federation University Ballarat and a Master of Fine Arts with Distinction from RMIT University, Melbourne. She has been exhibiting regularly in group and solo exhibitions since 2009. From 2006 to 2009 she established and curated regular exhibitions at Artasis Gallery (ARI) in Richmond. Throughout this period, she also completed a number of private and corporate commissions and participated in live painting performances at venues that included the National Gallery of Victoria and Chapter House in Melbourne, Vic. She has been a finalist in the Williamstown, Stanthorpe and Blacktown prizes and has won “people’s choice” at AGENDO emerging art award. In 2016 she was recipient of the ADFAS Young Artist Award for her RMIT MFA work, awarded three grants from RMIT and Geelong City Council and was also president of COALESCE, an ARI comprised of students and alumni from the RMIT MFA program. In 2018 Stokie was invited to perform one of her key pieces “Are you an artist too” at the Montsalvat Art Centre in Melbourne.

And So It Goes runs until December 23. To see a full listing click here.

(Gallery pics by Carli Wilson Photography)