In February Lisa McKimmie visited the Hague studio to view the Fault/Lines collection. Below are a few insights.
Treading the line
Much has been written about the willingness of Belinda Fox to straddle the divides between art discourses. Fox’s work has been described as embracing polarities; the positive and negative, painting versus drawing, abstraction or figuration. Fox’s new works, for the twenty twenties can be seen to shift from a bipolar or unipolar hegemony of artistic form (masterprinter, printmaker, painter, mixed media artist, graphic artist?) to a multipolar perspective in which there is no hierarchy of media and no medium is given priority over another. The current body of work defies classification as either one thing or another. Even as we cannot help but admire Fox’s technical mastery and sleight of hand, the viewer may attempt a reductionist understanding to describe or categorize the works, but may only succeed in the mere listing of the media and materials present, a stating of what, indubitably, is. When, thus unsettled, we are forced to look and perhaps see, complex rhythms and sometimes tense relationships or fluid harmonies in the work. Whether we choose to rest on the harmonies or face up to the tensions is, then, up to us.
Perhaps the frisson of tension in works such as counter-weight where harsh line carved abuts delicate painted line, is too much of a challenge, or a cold-water shock for some. If this is so the viewer can take respite in the balanced and poetic composition of works such as the spaces between.
Wherever you choose to pause and contemplate, you will find a depth in Belinda Fox’s work which leaves nothing out. There are elements of tradition, the contemporary, her identity as artist and mother, the strangeness of dwelling as a foreigner in a foreign land, the news cycle of crises of humanity and the environment. Through it all is a keen awareness, a very Australian feet in the dirt sensibility, a humanistic grounding within landscape.
Lisa McKimmie, 2020
Lisa is an artist and freelance writer living and working in The Netherlands. Photo credits: Hein van Liempd. More info go to: www.maybaumgallery.com