The modulations and tonality of art and life were revealed in the exhibition, Informal Geographies, by artist Anne Numont, which was held at the Incinerator Art Space 11 – 22 July 2018 in Willoughby, a suburb of Sydney.
The connections to place, the passing of time and the legacy of family history are woven in the diverse artistic practices within her artworks.
This was Anne Numont’s first solo exhibition in four years and was created from 2016 during her studio residency at Primrose Park Artist Studios, Cremorne.
Parked 1, Parked 11 and Parked 111, artworks from 2016 are embedded in the natural environment of Primrose Park, which she meticulously explored and insightfully interpreted.
The imprints of leaves, flowers, sheaths of seeds and twigs form an undulating topography charting discovery and pattern within place.
These artworks are wistful in intention through the sepia that weeps amongst the surfaces of the resolute and simultaneously soft handmade paper.
Geometric circles, dotted lines, tiny squares create an ordered paradigm that illustrates the inherent environmental features of the whimsical maps. They are structural charts that extract and define the essence of her connection to the site.
The terrain of location is expertly explored by Numont through the conceptual landscapes she creates. The rhythm of the textural nuances is graphically enhanced by the elongated shapes and pensive curves of the natural phenomena.
Generations (Redux), 2018 is an archipelago of floating islands within a sea of tranquillity. Assorted red shaped islands are suspended in a restful acknowledgement of the respect and wonder of generational antiquities, personal and physical journeys and the landscape of the Philippines.
The narratives and history of three generations of women, the artist, her mum and then her mother intersect and overlap with the family lineage of a loving union.
Anne Numont has sourced “family heirlooms and rituals juxtaposed with local, native, flora to form a biomorphic extension to the original site – an underground chamber at The Coal Loader …
Generations was part of THE RED PROJECT, a North Sydney Council Arts & Cultural event that exhibited 74 artists at 6 venues throughout the month of March, 2018, in celebration of creative women in North Sydney and International Women’s Day.” (Artist Statement)
Red rosary beads are draped eloquently across the rich red rippling overlay and gently spill to form a relationship between physical and spiritual. The symbolic connotation is an affectionate reminder of femininity and virtue.
The imprint on her handmade paper of a very special heirloom, a small crystal serving dish is a motif Numont repeats in her artworks.
The sentimentality, intimacy and generosity of shared meals across three generations of women are steadfastly etched in the designs. There is a reference to the old fashioned paper dollies that formed part of eating rituals.
The past harmonizes effortlessly and persuasively with the present in the floral elements and fragments that form part of her work.
Her current natural environment of bottlebrush, gum nuts, eucalyptus leaves and banksia are integrated with the memories and impressions of her childhood landscape of the rice terraces of the Philippines.
The cultural geography of this installation creates patterns and interactions between human culture and the natural environment. Numont’s organisation of space is fundamental to the totality and visual acumen of this installation.
Shades of red resonate with the richness of cultural heritage and the elements of fire, earth, air and water. The stillness within the work emerges from the mellow torn edges of the changing shapes and there methodical positioning.
The seemingly random character of the construction and angles is comforting. This work is mediative and soothing like the petals of the imagination. The delicate lilt in some pieces and the horizontal dignity of others builds different levels that form balance and harmony.
Generations (Redux) oscillates a graceful serenity.
In A Personal Geography 2017 the wheels of time turn endlessly in this poetic floor composition. The motion of movement and sound builds a lulling orchestration.
Numont has charted her terrain and the topography of place, identity, time, travel and memory with a perceptive nuance.
Again the crystal serving dish motif adds depth, distinction and cohesion to the work.
Handmade paper appears metallic and cements the grounding and solidarity of this exquisite work. The compass symbols denote choice, direction and evolvement.
Words etched into the paper give further clues to the personal narrative and emotional journey as Numont migrated from the Philippines to Australia.
Words like ‘Kamaganak’ from her cultural history, ‘homeward’ with its double edged meaning and ‘ocean’ denoting travel and distance. Feelings of rejection and alienation in an unknown country are expressed in ‘fear’ ‘numb’ and ‘lost.’
The sepia shades and peppered circles flow across the work with a coherence and fluidity that is timeless. The outer extended shapes denote continual growth and the optimism of future possibilities.
The aerial views of the land and sea scapes are embedded in the landforms and oceans that pervade the construction. The layered work invites the viewer into the spiritual and creative consciousness of the artist. The pitfalls, the dangers, the escapes are rhythmically scored through the work.
The Nocturnal Series is testament to a highly skilful artist, who totally understands her mediums pastel and graphite pencil. However it’s her approach to light and illuminating her Sydney Harbour views that is mesmerizing and evocative.
The views are graphically and pictorially successful as the bare bones of shape and tone are executed with photographic precision. However they also capture an illusory moment in time, time appears to have stopped as the element of suspension pervades each stroke.
There is a musicality about these images that evokes a powerful resonance. Light and darkness define the nocturnes and lines and shapes play the symphonies.
The architectural qualities of the drawings reflect contemporary living where virtual and real collide with a very diminishing line of disembarkation. Grappling with this concept and executing with integrity requires the artist’s disciplined contemplation, imaginative insight and restrained execution.
Anne Numont has mounted an exhibition of distinct and varied artistic practices underpinned with a lucid philosophy that is reflected in the clarity and creativity of her fine artworks.