Tonee Messiah builds her painted surfaces with various hard and soft forms that overlap and intersect in an archaeological drift. The effect is one of movement and agitation, closure and expansion, that draws the viewer towards the inner sub-structure of the painting. Eschewing fixed references, Messiah explores complex psychological experiences the cannot be easily defined. She considers painting like another form of thinking, and as her surfaces build, so does her response to the world around her.
Subtle colour balances and biomorphic forms have become signature features of Messiah’s work, and balancing the harmony and tension in an image by manipulating these elements is an ongoing concern for the young artist. In the studio she constantly challenges herself to create images that instil ‘a sense of curiosity in their unfamiliar structure’ yet are not ‘aesthetically repellent’. Messiah’s use of irregular forms derives from her fascination with the way ink bleeds into water and the unexpected shapes that are created when they combine.
– Jane Somerville from Artand Australia, August 2013
Messiah was born in Israel in 1983 and moved back and forth between Australia and Israel several times during her childhood before settling in Sydney where she still lives and works. She graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with Honours in 2004 and has been exhibiting with Gallery 9 since 2007. Messiah is represented in the collections of Monash University Museum of Art, Artbank, Allens Linklaters, Barker College and Campbelltown Hospital.