Amber Stokie returns to her love of drawing to investigate identity development, and the dynamics that operate within close relationships. Using performance photographs from her Master of Fine Arts folio as source material, Stokie reshapes, shifts and establishes connections within her drawings to create individual narratives.
The universal pursuit of individualism and the desire to be treated as a “unique” person provide the inspiration for Amber Stokie’s latest work. This is an area Stokie has chosen to explore as the lived experiences shared with her triplet siblings overshadows in complexity those experiences of existing simply as an individual.
“To be recognised as unique; as “one” and not the representation of “three” has involved a lot of energy over and above what a singular individual expels to express who they are. For me, this has been a very active area of my life that has involved conscious and unconscious decisions to construct a singular identity, to feel like a unique individual in the eyes of others”.
Where other mediums she adopts in her practice such as documented performance and video give a contemporary take on her ideas, drawing enables her to see her own hand in her work. In this group of drawings; colour, line and pattern are used in a playful way to help her create a space that resembles a stage or set where her figures interact, play a part, reveal who they are. Figures connect and collide as they share this space, highlighting the complexity of relationship dynamics.
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 many 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 two grants from RMIT Link Arts and was also president of COALESCE, an ARI comprised of students and alumni from the RMIT MFA program.
Amber’s current solo exhibition You, Me and In Between runs until August 12. See a full listing here.