12 MAR – 5 APR 2014
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.