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Deborah Poynton: ‘Undergrowth’ From The Series ‘Picnic’

By: Lucinda Jolly Extract from review, October 2016


Deborah Poynton "Undergrowth" Oil on canvas 2016

(…) Followers (…) of Deborah Poynton’s paintings are familiar with her dense, finely worked surfaces and complex compositions. The artist presents as a painter in total control of her technique and subject matter.

Her paintings appear seamlessly stitched, making it understandable that they are so often are mistakenly read as photo realism. In reality they are invariably constructed from different places to create a totally believable, yet non- existent reality. For Poynton, painting “is an attempt to form a bridge between myself and the world, to carve out a little space and spread out my blanket.”

[In 2015] Poynton’s paintings take a sudden, seemingly out of character shift.

Vegetation and landscape were implied by a shorthand suggestive of traditional Asian calligraphy. A reflection her interest the Japanese Ukiyo-e (floating world) wood block prints from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Space or emptiness was introduced into the mix - lots of it.

The open areas of white canvas both held the marks and dominated the paintings. Poynton is increasingly “fascinated by the emptiness behind everything “acknowledging that “as you put one mark on the white of the canvas it becomes a space.”

Although the marks are potent with vibrancy, we would be quite wrong to believe that these were expressionistic doodlings from a place of feeling.

The executed control obvious in earlier work continues. Each segue of the brush is as considered and definitive as the arrow from the Zen archer’s bow to be discarded if not true. “I find I have to be in exactly the right frame of mind…” she says.

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