“The question of how colour is perceived has cast its spell on me.” – Ekarasa Doblanovic.
Using organic materials such as pure hand ground pigment and egg tempera, the paintings of Ekarasa Doblanovic appear lusciously tactile and rich in colour. These formal qualities allow the work to affect the senses while exploring visual-material relationships. The delicate layering of colour and texture creates spatial ambiguities.
Doblanovic’s creative practice includes painting and installation with collaborative and participatory project Imagine the Land which takes place globally. Her works embody a strong sense of materiality in which the tactile and haptic quality of colour and organic earth materials heighten the sensation and effect of colour and its material nature. Her involvement in the painting process reaches so far back as to actually create the colours herself using pure pigments to ensure an undiluted interaction with colour itself and maintain its primal beauty. She describes her practice as being “defined by a physical engagement with colour, materials and processes.”
Her works investigate colour as an unstable and unsettling factor, with the potential to generate feelings and responses that are in constant dialogue with the viewer. The exchange between Doblanovic’s use of pure hues and juxtaposition of these unsullied colours creates a reciprocal activation, instigated by opposing forces. She describes the nature of colour as of movement and constant fluctuation. “I wondered if the actual colour can ever be seen or known. As the tonal value of colour is always dependant on its external light source.”
Despite the brightness of her work, they speak quietly about the amount of thought and care involved in their conception.
Impermanence and instability also play a role in her works, from the moment of chance when liquid runs and paper absorbs, to the careful balancing of her ‘modular’ works. “Each monochrome has the ability of being content in itself by presenting a colour in its fullness. Depending on how the edge is treated or how we install it, we can initiate a reading in a new set of codes, for example by painting the edge in a different colour or covering the edge with masking tape, or by placing a set or series of monochromes spatially for example within a linear structure or grid defined by the edges. Those structures create a spatial rhythm, which differs from colour rhythm achieved through a single colour or many hues.”
Since her graduation with a master’s degree in visual art from AUT in 2014, Doblanovic has amassed an impressive number of entries on her CV, including group and solo shows featuring her drawings and paintings, and numerous collaborations with Karma Barnes on temporary installations, collectively titled Imagine the Land, at various sites in New Zealand and Australia. An Imagine the Land installation recently featured in a presentation and publication hosted by the Louvre for the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoleo for his collaborative project Year 1, Paradise on Earth.