Ann Thomson | Freehand exhibition at the Drill Hall Gallery

A survey of recent paintings by Ann Thomson is currently on show at the Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra. ‘Freehand – Recent works by Ann Thomson’ exhibits paintings, mixed media collages and works on paper from the past seven years.

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Ann in her studio in Reims, France where she spent three months of 2014 on an artist’s residency

For an artist in her 80s, Ann’s work is remarkably youthful displaying a remarkable lightness of touch and gestural freedom. Her works have always been very generous, exuberance being as much an identifiable characteristic of the artist herself as much as it is of her paintings.

Indeed in his speech to open the exhibition, author David Malouf was quick to express his awe at the energy in each work, a testament to the energy of Ann and the vitality imparted upon each painting during the act of creation. And while her brush is loaded with an unbounded energy, her often overlooked collages embody a wondrous fascination with the world’s systems and the way they work, at once existing as reflections of the place in which Ann lives as well as evidence of a spirited inner logic.

Freehand (detail), 2014, acrylic on linen, 93 x 93cm

“Ann Thomson’s pictorial conceptions are characterised by their great vivacity. She has a remarkable feeling for pulse and rhythm, for dynamic energy unleashed into space.” – Freehand, recent works by Ann Thomson

As Terrence Maloon wrote in his foreword to the exhibition: ‘in 2008 one began to notice signs of change in her art – changes that could not be ascribed to the attrition of age. On the contrary: her paintings and drawings were growing conspicuously stronger, wilder and freer. To all intents and purposes, they had begun to grow younger.”

To coincide with this important exhibition, Olsen Irwin is exhibiting a small collection of works on paper at the works on paper gallery. These gouaches were all created last year, 2014 while Ann was on an artist’s residency in Reims, France. Their shifting forms are suggestive of aquatic bodies, something that Ann attributes to her morning swims.

Ann Thomson
Freehand – Recent works by Ann Thomson
19 February – 5 April 2015
Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley St Acton, 2601. ACT

Ann Thomson
Variations
Opening 28 February 2-4pm
Exhibition 25 February – 14 March 2015
Olsen Irwin works on paper, small paintings and sculpture
40 Queen St, Woollahra NSW

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