01 May 2013

Esther Stewart, North Melbourne

Jake Walker: Hi Esther, how did you get interested in hard edge painting?

Esther Stewart: I just came into it. From making folding works that referenced hard edge, I gained interest and confidence to create pure paintings that relied on the quality of the form and colour to be successfully. The method of creation changes a lot- from planning and then making, in contrast to developing as I go. I think it's clear when you look at them which ones have come from which method. At the moment I'm leaning towards the planning method. It means that I can explore optical effects better and use ideas from past work to inform new ones.

JW: You say that you are developing most of the imagery in the planning phase currently. What does this involve, computers or colour pencils and rulers......? 

The Bauhaus painting masters subscribed to a belief in the colour-form classification system, red=squareyellow=triangleblue=circle. Are you developing your own set of rules regarding colour or does instinct still play a significant roll?

ES: I am currently panning on the board (1:1 scale) with a pencil and ruler. This means I can play with composition and scale and have the flexibility of changing my mind. Once a shape has been filed with colour there is little flexibility. I can make smaller shapes within it or change its colour, but because of the seam of the shape I can not remove it completely. I currently dont have any firm rules with colour. I try to focus on difficult colour compositions by including or starting with deep tones rather then light colours that sit comfortably with other colours. The more I do the more rules or syntax's develop. Even within the 20 that I have recently made each new one reveals problems in the previous ones. 

JW: Are you moving towards simpler or more complex compositions? I have come to believe that most painting practices are either moving towards complexity or simplicity.

ES: I think that's probable correct. I'm not sure where I'm moving. Maybe I'm hovering. Wondering if the colours are more important than the forms? If I had to answer i would go with simpler. 

JW: And are you working towards a specific show? If so where and when?

ES: I'm working towards a show called Makin' Plans at Utopian Slumps which I am really excited about, and another at the Stockrooms later in the month

Makin’ Plans by Esther Stewart
Open from 4th to 25th May 2013
Utopian Slumps
Ground floor, 33 Guildford Lane
Melbourne, VIC

Esther's blog