CATHY BLANCHFLOWER (B. 1971, lives and works in Melbourne) is an artist who has reached a watershed in her work. I would like to refer to it as "the end of the beginning". For the past twelve years the artist has been patiently and rigorously building up a container for her painting practice. Her paintings are stylistically easily recognisable for her attention to detail and a painstaking process and quality. However, where the paintings leading up to this exhibition have often been described in terms which reflect some of her influences such as op art or Islamic ceramics, the new works represent a departure, or a culmination perhaps that sideline these terms or labels.
The new work is dominated by circular, wavy lines instead of the straight collections of squares and diagonals, which were the basic structure of earlier work. The overall diagonals and passages across the surface through repetition are still there but the starting point and therefore the overall effect is different. The colour relations have also become somewhat closer and subtle in contrast although the overall effect is the opposite. The paintings have freshness and an almost celebratory air, the brushstrokes, although still betraying the discipline of structure are more painterly and free. CATHY BLANCHFLOWER is no longer mapping out the paintings in pencil but rather starting her patterns on the canvas and seeing where they lead her ? and us in the act of viewing.
The paintings no longer particularly remind me of anything so much as her own past work - always a sign of entering a mature phase - when the major influence on the artist is her own past work. The evocation of nature is personal but so intimate as to create a world with universal reverberations. We each respond in our own way to these works. They are a platform from which we may indulge our emotions as opposed to a set of ideas laid down on canvas.
CATHY BLANCHFLOWER is bravely cultivating zones of uncertainty with the paradoxical result that the paintings are brimming with confidence, authority and belief.