The latest vibrant yet thought provoking exhibition at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries is Katherine Wood’s SURRENDER – a series of moody ,at times rather ominous seascapes , often heavily textured and in dramatic tones .Wood says she aims to ‘ create portals of solitude, a place for the viewer to escape, providing a calming sanctuary, a place to contemplate and immerse oneself. Surrender for me is not giving up, not capitulation, but a coming to terms with certain elements that cannot be changed or amended and acceptance that energies can be redirected to more uplifting and promising endeavours. Sometimes strength can be found in just being able to let go and SURRENDER .’
The eponymous painting with its beach and clouds is pensive , with its strong horizontal composition. ‘Drifting’ is unusual, dreamlike ..a cloudy sky with a small female figure in white bobbing inside it.
‘Dream Big’ depicts a blue, yet turbulent cloudy sky and a lonely beach.
‘Capturing the Light Within’ is a wonderful beach and sky scape , with the eye being led to the far distance. There are one possibly two miniscule human figures dwarfed by the environment if you look very closely .
‘Captured Within’ is an eye catching painting of two goldfish trapped in a balloon bobbing out to see .Wood has used a delicate layer of resin for the balloon .
‘Feel My Love’ is strongly horizontal in composition with its yellowy-brown beach sweeping across the centre of the painting and the atmosphere of being lost in the greyness. There is a sense of loneliness with the one( two?) tiny human figures included .
‘No Limitations’ is a large diptych with a wonderful textured beach receding to the horizon and a strong ,cloudy sky. The dominant colours of the melancholy ‘Patience Is A Virtue’ are blues and greys , another wonderful sea and cloudscape. ‘Glistening’, with its tiny tree and soaring bird, shimmers. ‘Always Together’ depicts a tiny human dwarfed by the land and seascape There is perhaps a sense of wistful loss . ‘Into the Light’ with its ominous purply- brown sky is perhaps also tentatively optimistic.
Two small pieces are ‘Til The End of Day’ bright and colourful with a tiny bird and tree and ‘Just Magnified’ a dark blood red sea and sky scape with sandbars in the middle .
‘Running Through’ is a lonely land and seascape also rusty burgundy red in part, with a tiny tree , with the horizon line about a third of the way up the picture, leading the eye to a grey sky.
‘Reach Your Dreams’ has a human figure on a stepladder striving to reach the sky under swirling clouds while Live This Life is a pale white beach with some rocks visible beneath many layers of cloud.
Awake Me with its heavily textured beach and rolling clouds is both ominous yet hopeful.
‘Into the Distance’ with its tiny human in a grey /blue /green seascape is perhaps both a reflection upon life and death and how we are at times overwhelmed by the environment.
This was an arresting, compelling exhibition.
SURRENDER by Katherine Wood runs at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries 9 -30 August 2019.
Featured image – ‘Surrender’. Mixed media. 120cm x 150cm.