Return to menu
LookSee: five contemporary painters, 2001
Curated by Natasha Biullock and Sarah Bond
Monash Univeristy Museum of Art
Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Currated by Bec Dean
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Perth, Western Australia
Approach, uses painting as an embodiment of psychological devices of cinema. Scale, focus and framing are critical filmic camera techniques that are used to draw the spectators into the film's graphic narrative scenario. Each painting depicts the same image of a house on fire.
In this installation the variously-sized canvases gradually decrease, while the scale of the house fire image appears in its depiction to remains the same, being embedded within surrounding blackness. The effect of this technique is the illusion of the viewer's approach towards the incendary event as it unfolds. The illusion created here is twofold. Firstly, as the edge of the picture frame encroaches upon the consistently-sized image the fire appears to come closer, as if the camera has panned in. Additionally, as each canvas panel shrinks, the rendition of the painted image becomes more focused so that the spectator's attention draws closer to engage in the intimate detail of the closest view.
Extract from catalogue essay by Natasha Bullock
LookSee: five contemporary painters
'For something to exist in space it must first move through time. Lily Hibberd's work is concerned with the dynamics and interplay of spatial and temporal relations and the capacity of paint to engage as cinema does with psychological space. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's film Rebecca, Hibberd's work Approach 2001 is based on the final dramatic sequence when the male protagonist Maxim approaches his burining mansion estate. Approach comprises seven panels depicting a house burning in the distance. With the movement across each panel the house becomes closer and more finite in its definition. The pictorial size of the subject, however, remains the same even though the panels dramatically decrease in size so that the shifts across them can be read metaphorically like a lens of a camera periodically tightening its focus: each movement depicts a change in time and spatial orientation.
The spectator is involved in the unfolding of this narrative-type sequence, in its scale, structure, pictorial size and mutable perspectives. These elements mirror cinematic devices that entice the viewer into considering comparisons and repetitions amid passing moments in time (or in this case between the canvas or frames before and after). As the images visually amass the viewer is ultimately enfolded in a drama, enacted by the bright seductive colour of the work, by the very nature of the subject matter and in the work's clear undulating manipulation of space - where physical, psychological and perceptual space(s) collide.'