In 2015, Chrystal Rimmer spent nine weeks at Ikuntji Artists, an aboriginal artists centre situated in MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory. The Ikuntji community instilled in her the importance of family and understanding ancestry, and this experience sparked the creation of this new body of work, titled ‘Famiglia’.
Rimmer embarked on a journey of self-discovery that took her to Arcade in Treviso, Italy to meet her extended family and learn about her descent. ‘Famiglia’ is an immersive family tree – a series of paintings of relatives. While figurative, the works are non-representative, guided more by what Rimmer felt than what she saw. Architectural elements prevalent in Rimmer’s past painting series are present in these works as abstracted habitats. These habitats reflected her mood when creating the work and are at times representational of her subject’s personality.
Rimmer treats the canvas like a paper and the process of painting like sketching –predominately using charcoal, graphite and pastels. Colours have been inspired by her days wandering the Uffizi Gallery in between family meetings. Constructivist and Romanticist notions are visibly in the work – Rimmer describes these styles as an innate part of her visual vocabulary.
Through the work, Rimmer is asking a very personal set of questions: Who am I? Where do I fit? What does family mean to me? While personal, these questions explore universal ideas of belonging and heritage – relevant to all of us. Through her work Rimmer suggests that tolerance for multiplicity could be grown through the discovery of our own personal identities. When it comes to our make up there are no borders, and we are all connected in ways we wouldn’t expect. What is “Australian” anyway.
Chrystal Rimmer is a recent BFA graduate of the National Art School, Sydney. She lives and creates work in Merimbula – a small town on the south coast of New South Wales, a place she describes as having “limited cultural diversity”.
When:Opens Friday 20 October at 6PM. On exhibition until Sunday 26 November
Left of Centre
Right by the Lake
NewActon. One word, one fine place to live, work and just be. We took the rulebook, looked up classic principles of excellence in architecture and urban design, ripped out the pages that prescribe same-same and characterless, and added a chapter entitled, “How to create a truly innovative cultural precinct that shifts the status quo, and be awarded multiple times for doing so.” And then we scribbled our name on the title page in crayon.
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