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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

Enlarged Abstracts Exploring Inner States of Chaos

I have been wanting to create some larger abstract paintings for a while, as the argest canvas I have ever painted on was 60 x 80cm. So, when I was commissioned to make a large abstract painting for a client's living, I jumped at the opportunity and made three. I am limited in the maximum size painting I can create at the moment, due to the size of the access hatch to my attic which currently functions as my studio. Therefore, I bought canvases which were 100 x 80cm in size. This size of painting requires a lot of oil paint due to the thick textures I create in my abstract work. The paintings are created in layers; starting with a base coat in white, brown or prink, with deep gestural brush marks which takes several weeks to dry; followed by several layers of contrasting coloured brush marks; and finished with energetic splatters which can take longer, sometimes months to fully dry.

My intention with these three cnavases was to explore the sensory experience of emotional overwhelm which will be familiar to people who suffer from mental health illness or autism spectrum disorder, but also experienced by neurotypical people in moments of extreme stress. My aim was to visually represent the feelings of contrasting and extreme emotions, triggered by sensory or physical stimuli that can lead to feelings of panic or lack of control. The gestural brushstrokes and splatter marks convey the chaotic energy that draw and divert the viewers gaze, unable to settle in a state of constant motion. The paintings' titles reflect on the value of feeling extreme emotions, celebrating the beauty of the chaos in lived experience and questioning whether embracing states of chaos can function as a force of creative production.

Sublime Cacophony, 2020.

Unscripted Crescendo, 2023.

Synchronised Chaos, 2023.

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