The practice of Melbourne–based artist Miranda Skoczek engages with abstraction via painterly plays with form, colour, composition and gesture. Borrowing from the history of image making – from the iconography of ancient cultures to the decorative arts and domestic architectures – Skoczek creates lavish, celebratory works that embody her resonant fixation with beauty. This appropriative practice, where disparate images from myriad sources are recontextualised, fosters an allusive oscillation between antiquity and contemporaneity.
Hinged on Formalist and Colourist approaches to art, Skoczek’s paintings are not preoccupied with the web of politics or conceptualism that mires so much contemporary art; rather, they center on the pure physicality and alchemy of painting. Channeling the modern philosophy of ‘art for art’s sake’, the artist divests the work of preconceived narratives and fixed meanings, carving open an aesthetic space where sensuality and temporality can converge.
‘Fragments and Fantasy’ represents a fusion of everyday life with whimsy, decoration and symbolism, the works metonymically acting as material fragments of the artist’s mind. The presentation traverses a melange of stylistic terrain, from small mixed media works on paper to large oils on canvas. Working in the tradition of automatic painting, Skoczek draws from a subconscious larder of visual inspiration accumulated from sources like Instagram, the Internet, books and magazines, building opulent layers of paint that both obscure and illuminate her elusive subjects. Embracing imperfection in her endless search for beauty, she creates a meditative, visual world that appeals as much to the eye as it does to the mind.