In their exhibition 13:12*, artists Patty Chehade and Christine Thiel ask questions about human nature. Adopting film noir devices in their paintings Chehade and Thiel explore deeper concerns about human behaviour and of being in the world.
Thiel paints images from her imagination that have formed whilst reading a Margaret Atwood novel. Fragments that form in her mind’s eye and rendered intentionally fragmented and vague, allowing the viewer to complete the story. It’s what’s happening in the shadows that is the real drama, not what’s happening centre stage. Chehade uses masks as a metaphor for human characteristics and behaviour. Is what we see really all there is? What are the secrets or intentions that underlie people’s behaviour? Do we only present a mask that determines how others perceive us?
In the shadows, under the veil, behind the mask… only once layers are peeled away can the secret truth be revealed.
For both artists, these isolated fragments or scenes are vehicles through which new meanings can be realised.
Image: Christine Thiel, A Handful of Feathers (detail), 2018, oil on canvas, 610x610mm
*13:12 alludes to the biblical reference: “For now we see through a glass, darkly”, 1 Corinthians 13 verse 12, KJV.