Victoria Cassells work takes on an emotional intensity that is as mysterious as it is beautiful. Working in oils with a clear wax finish, this technique creates a deep surface luminosity that perfectly compliments her subjects, casting spectators into a precious atmosphere of whimsical possibilities. With soft romantic lines and obscurely smudged backgrounds, Cassells conjures a new world that seems to exist beyond any fathomable time frame.
The works in ‘Cultivate’ are no exception, the product of a collaboration with writer Justine Eldred. This show blurs boundaries between visual and written art, what is said and what is imagined. Cassells’ explains the process through which this project evolved:
“Rather than conceive or plan, our collaboration tumbled into existence during those hungry conversations, like those grabbed outside the Four Square whilst the kids rolled their eyes. Often we would not even say hello, just launch into whatever had been creeping around inside our heads that day.
It was over coffee one day, when Justine told of her fledgling story line. Those characters I thought, they sound like the ones I paint. Fragile, curious, and refreshing. Like those hidden amongst my paints and brushes, sneaky, taking their time to appear.
Tuesday became our day. Justine writing and reading parts out loud whilst I painted. I would sense the building of those complex people, feel them forming, becoming sealed in their skin. They emerged then hid underneath my brush, I would cajole and coax them to stay. They would in turn nudge the writer and draw her in. Have their say in the tale being told.
We gave each other freedom: no rules or boxes to fit into. Whatever comes of this is not for us to force, we said. Nine months on, we offer six characters and six chapters.
This is not the exhibition offering illustrations to fit another’s dream, but a sharing of the writer’s and the artist’s creative synergy. Friend feeding friend, nourishing and necessary food.”
‘Cultivate’ will be on show from December 5 to December 18, with both artist and writer presenting short readings from 2pm on December 7.