Amber Stokie, Finding My Way

“This collection of work is the outcome of an intense and exciting period of exploration and discovery during the first few months of my relocation from Victoria to South Australia. In an attempt to capture special and distinct moments in the early days of my new life I have interpreted both the physical landscape and my state of mind, the resulting collection is a combination but as a whole speaks of the unique experience of discovering a new city, and my place in it.In particular, natural features like waterfalls, ponds, flora and distant hilltops have captivated and calmed me during this significant new chapter of my life. Some observations are distant but constant like the Adelaide Hills that follow me as I’m finding my way around the suburbs like a navigational tool or beacon; others more intimate like the flowers in the botanical gardens which have appealed to me because they connect me to my mother who was a passionate gardener, hence they leave me feeling reassured.

I’ve always enjoyed travelling to new places so this life change, even though somewhat daunting given the context of a growing pandemic, presented the perfect opportunity to explore a new place through the act of painting.”Amber Stokie is an Adelaide based visual artist known for her figurative works on paper and canvas. Stokie holds a BA in Visual Art (drawing) from the University of Ballarat and recently completed a Master of Fine Art degree with Distinction at RMIT University, Melbourne. Stokie often shifts between drawing and painting to describe what’s going on in her world, and society as a whole.Stokie’s art making process creates richly layered landscapes imbued with the artist’s memories and understanding of how she fits in the world around her and the challenges that contemporary society presents. Emotive responses are the catalyst to transform scenes/environments to imaginative and deeply psychological landscapes. This process results in colourful and often ambiguous paintings that oscillate between gestural abstraction and figuration. Freedom and play are important in this process therefore Stokie avoids working with a specific subject for too long, however regular reoccurring themes in her work such as diversity, togetherness and collectivity remain constant.“I often work with repeated forms in attempt to talk about collectivity and diversity. I like to keep them open and abstract in terms of what they actually are and have the viewer decipher them for themselves. Usually, they are suggestive of human forms, trees or plant life. As I progress with a work and clarify my ideas the original shapes become more blurred or obscure.”Stokie 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.Finding My Wayruns until February 21st, to see the full listing click here.

install images by Carli Wilson Photography.