Finalist in the Wynne Prize for 2016.
Tracey-Maree Smith's work sits somewhere between solid rock and fluid water.
Her manipulation of paint and canvas is hard and physical yet the expression of emotion
in colour and line is ephemeral.
There is an attempt to portray our emotional reality and that which lies beneath—
our raw, exposed humanity—the spectrum between despair and elation laid bare.
Our emotional landscape and the natural landscape, constantly in a state of flux,
are intrinsically tied. They sit together on canvas, a momentary snapshot of our current state of being.
Tracey, like most artists, works in a studio that is sequestered from her home, her children, her Redhead Beach landscape. It is simply a shed, out the back, that you sneak
up to from a narrow, plant encroached, side pathway. It seems peaceful and a suitable approach to what one might find in a movie, about an artist. You might think that there would be easels and paint brushes, lovely images of inspiration stuck on the wall—But not in here.
Here you are privy to big canvas, large tins of paint, smashes of paint on walls and floors (like you've stepped inside a Pollock) and discarded scatterings of industrial personal protective clothing, face masks, extension cords and her paint brush—An electric handheld sander. This is where her hard, industrial process becomes a blurred realisation of canvas as sculpture, and sculpture as canvas and the artists own physicality is inherent in the work.
Her emotion and reaction to environment, as an extension of her physicality lies here too, beneath the paint, beneath the obvious. Look closer, and you'll see a universe behind the limitations of the frame.