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Sally Anderson | 2017 Brett Whiteley Travlling Scholarship

Art Collector Jan 2018

Hayley Megan-French


In October 2017, Sally Anderson was awarded the Brett Whitely Travelling Scholarship. The prize: a three-month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris – administered by the Art Gallery of NSW – and $40,000 in living and travel expenses. Anderson was awarded the scholarship for a body of paintings completed in 2016-17. Her work, on display at the Brett Whitely studio, was praised by guest judge Australian Painter Ildiko Kovacs for her strong personal visual language marrying abstraction and figuration.

Anderson’s paintings embody these tensions: of abstraction and figuration, of interior and exterior, of lived experiences and how we hold this experience in our minds, in our bodies. Her canvass are divided, shapes are formed, souvenirs created; the body always present. Her edges reveal layer upon layer, framing the windows which sometimes appear within the large blocks of colour, sometimes hidden behind. These windows, a progression in recent work, insert objects into rooms, landscapes into mindscapes, relationships into the body of painting.

There is a strong sense of attachment and nostalgia created by Anderson’s windows. The outside experience of the object, the landscape, has been internalized: we can feel memory, longing and narrative imbued. Anderson’s paintings feel like a collection of her interpersonal relationships, embodied in the rooms and landscapes that have shaped her everyday experience.

In 2017 Anderson held two solo exhibitions: Beside the Point, Beside Myself, Beside You, at Olsen Gallery, Sydney and The Washdown and Salvation Jane at Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane. Naomi Riddle put it well when she wrote of Anderson’s poetic use of metaphors: “She is the landscape; the landscape becomes her.” These metaphors operate through the windows of her work. I wonder, what windows will appear in Anderson’s paintings while working in Europe, and after? What souvenirs will she take?

Anderson is represented by Olsen Gallery in Sydney and Edqina Corlette Gallery in birsbane. She opens her next solo show Self Storage and the Really Real at Edwina Corlette Gallery on the 2 February 2018. Anderson will travel to Paris in July.

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