Christine Cornish - Stretto

Exhibition: 24 July to 23 August, 2008

Christine Cornish

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In order for us to be authentically human we have to value the central role the poetic plays in our lives and, significantly for Cornish's deftly crafted, ambiguous and powerful photographs, be willing to stop, observe, hear, listen to and remember all that surrounds us from earth to sky.

John Conomos 2004

Stretto, from the Latin to draw close, is Christine Cornish's latest body of work. In keeping with earlier works, Cornish has created simple yet profound compositions that are also philosophical in intent.

In Stretto Cornish uses a precise series of moss-green shapes and lines set against dark russet grounds. There is an exquisite balance in the shape, tone and structure of her works that evokes an almost haiku meditation on space and depth, on interconnectedness and lines of thought. Stretto is an apt title. The simple yet sophisticated arrangements contain elements which draw close to each other, emphasising the negative spaces as much as the positive. At the same time the modest scale and subtlety of the works require the viewer to draw close, asking of them space and time.

Cornish's visual tones are much like musical tones, subtle and unfolding. Echoing the interpretation from sheet music to actual performance, Cornish's works function like maps to an experience or a way of thinking. The muted palette of green and brown suggests Nature, but the landscape Cornish describes is also in the realm of the mind exploring a layered and mysterious underworld that is embedded in consciousness. Her images ask us to go beyond the surface of the image in order to find meaning.

Christine Cornish has taught Photography at the National Art School in Sydney since 1988. She has exhibited regularly in solo and group shows since 1978. Her work is held in many collections including those at the Art Gallery of NSW, Australian National Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, Griffith Artworks and Artbank. This is Christine's third solo show at Stills Gallery.