Dawn, 2008


In Dawn, Elizabeth has awoken to a new artistic era in her already prestigious career. 

Previously Elizabeth's art exuded an amalgam of Western and Eastern artistic traditions, through flowing compositions that reinterpreted and blurred modern European art genres with Oriental mystique. Evoking worldly Post-Impressionist painters like Gaugin and Matisse, as well as the deep hues and rich mosaics of Islamic art, Elizabeth's earlier works detailed the flamboyant dalliances of society's elite.

Bursting with tongue in cheek innuendo and subtle allegory, her paintings paid exquisite attention to detail through a poetically lyrical blend of classicism and modernism, operatic costuming and theatrical staging.

Always searching for fresh artistic directions, Elizabeth recently embarked upon an investigative journey into to the expansive wild savannahs of Africa. During her explorations, she was profoundly affected by the primordial majesty of both the bestial inhabitants and the nomadic tribe's folk.

Returning to her Bangkok studio, Elizabeth's African adventure pushed her to re-examine the process and technical methodology of her previous creative output. The result has been a remarkable transformation and a new level of maturity for the artist.

Darker, raw, and more introspective, these latest Africa aligned compositions are more expressive in nature. Imbuing loose, fluid brushwork, her coarser application exudes a primitive atmosphere while also displaying a very contemporary countenance.      

Employing a more muted and restrained palette, Elizabeth's subjects, whether human or animal, share the same emotional earnestness. Gone are the elaborately staged narratives of earlier artworks, instead her focus is tuned upon the power of the individual, be it human or creature. With Africa considered the cradle of civilisation, Elizabeth treats her characters with humility, exacting an archaic sense of their proud lineage.

Invoking ancient civilisations closer to her adopted Asia, several of Elizabeth's latest artworks imbue the historic monumentality of the towering Buddha statues of Thailand's lost kingdoms or the carved stone busts in Cambodia's ruined palaces. Intimate and penetrative in their singular proximity, the timeless, totemic quality of the solitary tribesmen in Trance, Warrior, and Enigma, are akin to the introspective, majestic sandstone portraits of Ankor Wat's 12thcentury ruler King Jayavarman VII. 

Perhaps it's the sculptural quality of her most recent paintings that have driven Elizabeth to expand her artistic sensibility and create her first three-dimensional works. Further enhancing the sense of physicality and earthiness of her African imagery, her haunting sculptural manifestations of bestial skulls and horns remind viewers of the harsh cyclical nature of survival and to our own fragile mortality.    

Steven Pettifor

Independent critic and curator

Author of Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art

View a taste of the "Dawn" painting collection below

 

Kikuyo
85 x 120 cm
oil on canvas
Guard
190 x 200 cm
oil on canvas

 

Dawn III
95 x 70_+ 70 + 70 cm
oil on canvas
Pensive
120 cm diam
oil on wood
Warrior I
140 x 195 cm
oil on canvas
Savannah I
175+70 x 85  
oil on canvas