Anoushka Akel
Wet Contact

25 February — 02 April 2022

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Anoushka Akel, Wet Physics, 2021, oil, pastel and wax pencil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Being Marthe, 2021, oil, coloured wax pencil on canvas, 350 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Group Portrait (Red Eye), 2021, lithographic ink, acrylic, oil, charcoal, turmeric, sea silt, 1050 x 1130mm

Anoushka Akel, Protective Painting, 2022, oil and wax pencil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Hiss (2), 2022, oil on canvas, 800 x 600mm

Anoushka Akel, Diver, 2022, oil on canvas, 850 x 600mm

Anoushka Akel, Hiss, 2022, oil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, The Sea is Another Story, lithographic ink and oil on un-stretched canvas, 1070 x 1440mm

Anoushka Akel, Attention Seeking, 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Examiner (5), 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Protective Painting, 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, An Unfenced Place, 2021, oil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Passage, 2022, oil on canvas, 350 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, We Liquify, 2021, oil on canvas, 450 x 600mm

Anoushka Akel
Wet Contact

25 February — 02 April 2022

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Wet Contact is a solo presentation of new work by Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist Anoushka Akel. A series of oil paintings on stretched and un-stretched canvas sensitively register the artist’s acutely attuned attention and active sensations.

the eye that looks at representation is wet;
the air between hangs with droplets;
the brain for figuration is wet;
the ear’s drums vibrate all the way through;
the fingers touching the object are budding with tiny moistures.*

Watery bodies, an embrace, a shout, an insistent cry. The collective behaviour of wet birds. The lifting of a shirt to reveal a chest and abdomen. Tear-droplets, wave-forms, teeth and tongues. Protective layers and wobbly lines. Fields of ever-shifting colour. It is difficult to pin-down the subject matter of Akel’s paintings. There is felt life, unseen forces and forms… a sense of bodies moving in and out of watery worlds…

Though appearing to be transitory, each painting is in fact the result of material transformation, concrete processes of stretching, staining, rubbing, smearing, even scratching with the sharpened end of a paint-brush. Many of the ways in which Akel applies paint are inspired by the pressure engaged in print-making or print-adjacent processes and techniques, particularly mono-printing. Such forces and activities follow moments of attention both peripheral and direct; hyper-vigilance, distraction, focus and pulling away… moments of human attention that aspire to be non-hierarchical and non-anticipatory. There is intention and selection, noting, hearing and deep listening. Then a shaping of thoughts, the manipulation and layering of paint through improvisational processes of wet touch and transfer.

Akel’s liquid architectures, though at first glance delicate with their veils, transparencies and layers, in actuality belie a steely, determined and robust process of capture and delay.

*Lisa Samuels, ‘Membranism, Wet Gaps, Archipelago Poetics’ in Reading Room: Liquid States, issue 4, 2010, p. 157

The artist would like to thank and acknowledge the generous support of Creative New Zealand.

 
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Anoushka Akel, Wet Physics, 2021, oil, pastel and wax pencil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Being Marthe, 2021, oil, coloured wax pencil on canvas, 350 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Group Portrait (Red Eye), 2021, lithographic ink, acrylic, oil, charcoal, turmeric, sea silt, 1050 x 1130mm

Anoushka Akel, Protective Painting, 2022, oil and wax pencil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Hiss (2), 2022, oil on canvas, 800 x 600mm

Anoushka Akel, Diver, 2022, oil on canvas, 850 x 600mm

Anoushka Akel, Hiss, 2022, oil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, The Sea is Another Story, lithographic ink and oil on un-stretched canvas, 1070 x 1440mm

Anoushka Akel, Attention Seeking, 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Examiner (5), 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, Protective Painting, 2021, oil on canvas, 600 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, An Unfenced Place, 2021, oil on canvas, 1000 x 1500mm

Anoushka Akel, Passage, 2022, oil on canvas, 350 x 450mm

Anoushka Akel, We Liquify, 2021, oil on canvas, 450 x 600mm