Matt Palmer | The Longing
Matt Palmer’s ustalises memories & elements of his past which are intentionally and effortlessly reshaped and retold from a sense of developed personal mythology and the experience of his present circumstance: an expat New Zealander, living in Australia.
The Longing explores this nostalgic distance, an area of particular interest and tension in Palmers recent work – reconciling the land of his childhood with his experience of it today. These highly personalised landscapes are constructions of first hand experience buried under layers of memory, trapped somewhere between myth and reality.
Palmer’s work lies somewhere between photograph, painting and film. A background in filmmaking has lead to experimentation with the landscape genre, attempting to bridge the gap between his painting and film work, the result, paintings which are both photographic and painterly.
Palmers compositions are cinematic – and while objects, like buildings and trees are articulate, even photographic – the brush work, particularly in the foreground and surrounding areas is loose and painterly. Palmer works quickly and spontaneously in these areas, building up layers with thin glazes of paint, carful to avoid texture and impasto, rubbing back the surface where required.
This new body of work is in atmospheric, brooding in tone and loaded with narrative. Though the works are devoid of human activity: though roads, dilapidated buildings, fence posts and other civilizing signs are playfully set against the vibrancy and lushness of the natural landscape, exposing both the tension and congruity of our relationship with the land.”We are homesick most for the places we have never known” Carson McCullers