TONEE MESSIAH
SORROWS BREAKFAST
12 MAR – 5 APR 2014

TONEE MESSIAH
Radiate
2014
oil on canvas
71 × 61 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Implode
2014
oil on canvas
71 × 61 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
The Setting Sky And The Deep Sea
2014
oil on canvas
122 × 101 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Junkyard Geometry
2014
oil on canvas
137 × 101 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Sink Or Swim
2014
oil on canvas
84 × 101 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
Last Frontier
2014
oil on canvas
122 × 152 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
Grey Tan
2014
oil on canvas
122 × 106 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Introvert
2014
oil on canvas
84 × 71 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
Exotics in the Scrub
2013
mixed media on paper
103 × 57 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Day, Night And Something In Between
2014
mixed media on paper
86 × 57 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Sensation Without Feeling
2013
ink and gouache on cotton rag
53 × 75 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Vertigo
2014
mixed media on cotton rag paper
57 × 75 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
You And Me Don’t Equal Us 1
2014
mixed media on cotton rag paper
38 × 28 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
You And Me Don’t Equal Us 2
2014
mixed media on cotton rag paper
38 × 28 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
You And Me Don’t Equal Us 3
2014
mixed media on cotton rag paper
38 × 28 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
You And Me Don’t Equal Us 4
2014
mixed media on cotton rag paper
38 × 28 cm 

TONEE MESSIAH
Whirlwind
2013
oil on canvas
112 × 101 cm 


What starts at the back is forced to the fore.

How close can we come to the tipping point, to the place where the mind makes a slip and finds itself in the throws of mild breakdown or unhinged mania?

Sorrow's Breakfast is a meditation on the lived experience and the fragility of the mind’s capacity to process experience and withstand tension. It is a questioning of one’s own capacity, under the right circumstances to slip down into the cracks.

Gallery 9 is pleased to present Tonee Messiah’s sixth solo exhibition with the Gallery, Sorrow’s Breakfast, an exhibition of new oils and works on paper.

This new body of work is an emotive and intuitive response to an acknowledgment of human fragility, specifically the ‘us and them’ notions which disfavour people who have been marginalised by society. Messiah describes how a recent curiosity has lead to a deep empathy for how vastly different the realities are for those who are seemingly functional and others who have been left behind by a society that requires an extremely high coping threshold. The same empathy motivated the artist to reflect on how a human brain functions under circumstances of extreme stress and anxiety, and how fine the tipping point can be.  

Sorrow’s Breakfast presents a new visual language that layers tension and equilibrium on the painted surface. Interdispersed and ever-present amongst objects of gentle comfort and homely place in the fore is an ambiguous vision of psychological dissolve. Again Messiah’s works shows a harmonious but not exclusively complimentary spectrum of colour and with unpredictable representational and abstract forms she blends background to foreground shifting focus to the opposing corners of the picture plane. 

Tonee Messiah is an honours graduate of Sydney College of the Arts (2004) whom Pulizer Prize winning critic, Sebastian Smee (The Boston Globe, then The Australian), in 2007 identified as one of the nations most collectable young artists. Her work is held in the Monash University Museum of Art as well as in numerous corporate and private collections.