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Indepth Arts News:

"Flightpath: Paintings by Janet Haslett"
2005-05-23 until 2005-06-05
Groundfloor Gallery
Balmain, NS, AU Australia

Groundfloor Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Flightpath, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by artist, Janet Haslett. Janet was selected as the winner of a two week exhibition at the gallery by the gallery's director at last year's FONAS (Friends of the National Art School) Infusion show at the Cell Block at Forbes Street. Janet Haslett has been fascinated with aerial and elevated views since childhood, when she first really became aware of the size and fragility of the world on regular flights between Nigeria, where she was born and Northern Ireland.

The paintings in this exhibition are largely based on aerial photographs spanning the past three decades of the iconic village of Hill End, north of Sydney. The images are built up in layers, in a constantly refined process of mapping marks in space. She is mainly concerned with form, light and scale and purposely uses a limited palette to help focus on these issues. She makes and obliterates marks, adding on and whiting out often to create a churning surface – a metaphor perhaps for this isolated outpost, where the earth was once turned over and over again in the obsessive search for gold. These days the scars aren’t so visible from eye-level, but aerial photographs still reveal the hacks and gouges in the land.

She‘s been painting aerial perspectives on and off for seven years, and believes her constant return to the theme may represent a more personal search for a ‘landing field’, and the quandary of claiming a permanent sense of place in a country where so many indigenous issues remain unresolved, and where there are so few markers relating to her own cultural-historic experience. Says Haslett, "The Hill End paintings have evolved over three years with an increasingly monochromatic palette. The predominant use of sepia perhaps evokes a sense of mortality and the passing of time, but it also serves to focus on what has become the pursuit of light and air, of the monumental juxtaposed with the fragile. They are as much an exploration of the landscape, as of issues of scale and the materiality of the mediums used in their construction.". Janet Haslett has exhibited in group shows in Sydney, Mudgee and Hill End, this is her second solo exhibition.

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