Figures and Light

Small points of saturated colour – red and green – are distributed on a white ground. Their presence is highly ambiguous. They function as autonomous entities: particles of brightness that seem to float, never quite settling on the surface: but they also congregate in clusters that appear to have physical density, as though comprised of grains of sand.

The points of colour are most densely clustered at the centre of each canvas as though held there, like iron filings, by an invisible force. From there they fan out and infiltrate virgin territory, as though travelling along valleys and fault lines. References to landscape are inescapable. Names such as Lacanha Valley and Comalco refer to Mayan sites where the ruins of a lost civilisation linger, so encouraging associations with ancient places that exert a mythic hold on the imagination.

Some constellations remind one of satellite pictures of the earth’s surface – they have the same surreal beauty and heightened colour. Some resemble maps or charts; others, more abstract and indefinable, suggest particles of free-floating energy – matter that has not yet come to rest or cohered into stable form: visualisations, perhaps, of an explosive moment, an event comparable to the Big Bang that, according to one theory, set the universe in motion.

There is no trace of anxiety in these exquisite mental landscapes, only a visionary optimism: a sense of infinitely expanding possibilities. These paintings are the culmination of years of refining a personal vision.

Figures and Light by Sarah Kent, JEANNE MASOERO: A SURVEY, Lund Humphries 2002