Presentations - Painting

Carolyne Kardia’s paintings often seem to present us with an explosion. It is as if big solid chunks of colour have been thrown up high in the air, burst open and then, in slow motion, regrouping on their way down, attached themselves to one another, sought out, avoided, mingled – building bridges, clashing and hemming in.

But there was no explosion. There was an artist at work with her vast knowledge and experience of and with colour and form and with her great capacity of perception and action. It seems to me as if we are looking at life itself, its own movements, its layers of conflicting forces and directions. The artist has merely created a new space for it, in which she, without denying the pain and the loss involved, brought broken and split elements together again into renewed dance.

Looking at these pictures, taking them in and bringing them to life with our own being, gives us a resting point at last, a delicious stillness in the balance of that, which is.
Uta Ruge, Berlin 2007

We live at a time when the model which seems to be presented for the artist's endeavours is either to make some sort of gesture which it is hoped will have a shock effect or to produce a design which will be manufactured by others elsewhere, usually on a grandiose scale. Carolyne Kardia's work counters this.

It is evident both in her sculpture and her painting that the initial idea is indeed only a beginning and her deep involvement with the material she uses means that the forms as they are produced interact with her initial notion and play a significant part in the way in which the overall form and structure of the finished piece evolves. Her working method insists on maintaining a creative space within which a range of diverse, often seemingly contradictory experiences, can be expressed and made evident as a unity.

Carolyne chooses plaster for her sculptural work and the choice of the material is important. The elements she produces with this material, at the first stage of their history, appear to exhibit a compliance, a passivity, a willingness to be formed in a particular way. As they come into existence they acquire a certain independence in the manner in which they reach out and encompass space. They then find themselves becoming part of an overall structure, but being no longer passive, the forms they have taken and the possibilities of their interconnectedness become significant factors in determining the over all structure of the finished work.

The notion of reaching out and encompassing space in a very determinant way is important in the experience of Carolyne's sculpture but at all times such an experience has to embrace the notion of fragility; we are required to focus intently for the time the phenomena is present. The work, as with others in the series she has produced, is an installation and as such will not for all time be present; it demands our acute attention at the time of its existence.

In her paintings Carolyne also places emphasis on materiality, The way in which the manipulation of paint, its intrinsic quality and the manner in which the interactive process of its application to the surface of the canvas modifies and contributes to initial intentions are crucial elements in her creative process.

The paintings also provide a strong sense of 'presentness'. Within the flux of texture, colour and spacial representation, the experiences of these works continually involve the registration of a series of strong and often compelling visual unities none of which is allowed to become dominant and permanent. Rather than a fixed unity, a sense of pulsation, of construction and deconstruction underpins the viewer's experience of the works. The complex creative processes involved in the production of work of this type mean that no initial idea is in itself adequate and that both in her painting and her sculpture Carolyne is involved creatively and critically throughout the whole process of a work, from inception to completion
Peter Kardia 2003