Bruny Island-based artist Michaye Boulter creates virtuosic seascapes inspired by the Australian coastline and the sublimity of the infinite ocean. Having spent much of her life afloat with her fisherman father and seafarer husband, Boulter draws from a fertile wellspring of inspiration, experience and knowledge. Her paintings chart the paradoxical vastness and intimacy of the sea, channelling unfiltered memories that reveal a psychological symbiosis with the natural world. The artist’s evocative seascapes are gradually built up over time with a multitude of glazes, creating a depth and luminosity reflective of the layers of mystery that shroud the depths of the ocean.
Boulter’s new series of paintings charts a dichotomous journey from the wild, unpredictable ocean to the calm, intricate channels of Port Davey – a trip travelled by the artist several times fishing with her father, and more recently with her husband and son. The artist explores the physical nuances of these two diametric bodies of water and their affiliation with her emotional and psychological landscape. Some works depict vast and vacant oceans, their distant, hazy horizon like an endless void, while others are anchored with brooding landmasses – ancient, omniscient faces scarred with the ragged marks of time. For Boulter, the unbridled ocean and the calm, mysterious depths of the channel have come to represent the internal and the external, the human heart and the world around us. This silent synchronicity between the physical world and the human psyche is conjured through Boulter’s meticulous layering of paint, which allows the artist to ‘listen’ until she feels a truth is revealed, some hidden aspect of self and place. Working from photographs, memory and imagination, Boulter chooses images that have profound personal resonance – emotionally stirring scenes ripe with possibility and mystery. Moving through these sublime point-of-view vignettes is the ubiquitous horizon, a relentless reminder of continuum of existence that propels us infinitely forward.