Dr. Victoria King

Daily we come into contact with many worlds as we are imprinted by tiny impressions and sensations. Fossil imprints of plants and animals remind us of lost species and of our own precarious life on our increasingly vulnerable planet. Fleeting moments are captured in traces of our breath upon a windowpane, footprints in sand, painted surfaces, photographic images, and in Christian culture’s collective imagination is the Turin Shroud. Presences of voices past and present speak through marks and handprints on Earth’s surfaces to mark time and ceremonies, and to communicate that ‘I was here’.

Imprinting colour from one painted surface to another, I extend my range of intentional mark-making as I pull pigments across paper and canvas and then lift them to another surface to create new intricacies of colour, detail, and spaciousness. Through this indirect subversion of conventional art practices to see the world anew, I celebrate the ephemeral and find a different centre, one that encourages a non-linear and non-perspectival focus.

Western culture tends to see parts rather than wholes. My imprints are attempts to express larger perspectives, inner and outer landscapes, views of a void often humbling in their silence. Contemplative in nature, they speak of nature and culture held in an uncanny balance.

In my imprints, I seek equivalences and resonances rather than create formal abstractions. The process is intentional, yet embraces irrational, random, and chance occurrences. A fine line exists between chaos and the sublime. I have discovered that there is a close correspondence to the natural world when I transfer pigments from one surface to another. Immense beauty and harshness exist in nature, and the experience of being on the land can dissolve human/nature distinctions. What is immensely clear to me from spending time at Utopia in Central Australia with Aboriginal women is that one’s vision is only a fraction of what one experiences in a place. There are layers of knowing that take appropriate amounts of time and experience to translate into understanding.

Through art, I constantly seek new ways to express my own way of being and seeing, my acceptance and recognition of process, relationship and difference, of larger time frames, patience, and perseverance.

Emerald Fields I and II, watercolour and gouache on Fabriano paper, 1999.

© Artwork and text copyright Victoria King 2022