ABOUT ESTHER SMITH
Echoes of another time, another place, another life. A whisper of unease - of mystery, evoking feelings - stirring memories. Objects out of context, spaces that are unknown yet familiar. Esther Smith is so totally in love with colour, the seductive iridescent shimmer, the flash of metallic, the sensual folds of satin and this is so completely evident in her work.
Having always been experimental with the material used, adding textured papers, thread, fabric, gold leaf, inks and paint to create a tactile and alluring surface, Esther has recently been exploring the possibilities of resin: the sometimes unexpected chemical reactions between pigments, room temperature and resin temperature can have a magical outcome - or not! Exciting and terrifying all at once.
It is this fascination with this medium that has led Esther to develop this most recent body of work. With an almost compulsive attention to 'the perfect finish' in her resin work Esther ensures every piece is completed to the highest possible quality. Layer upon layer of texture, detail, shine, golden glint under the perfect silken shine.
There is a recurring theme within these works - transience, the human construct of time: Linear, cyclical, duality: microcosm/macrocosm, Dionysian/Apollonian and utopian/dystopian. The inspiration comes from bedtime stories of Arabian Nights, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Sinbad the Sailor movies with her Father, Star Trek and Doctor Who after school TV, were all wonderfull fuel for a young imagination. A teenage fascination with mythology and the discovery of Joseph Campbell, Camille Paglia, a touch of poetry and Philosophy at art school have all played a part in informing the content of Esthers' work.
Esther graduated with a bachelor of Visual Art and Design from EIT Hawkes Bay in 2001 and went on to exhibit widely from 2000 to 2010, participating in many group exhibitions. In 2011, she and her husband brought a padlock on the Waimarama Road near Havelock North and planted a small vineyard and to create their own wine label - Maison Noire.
In 2020 Esther decided it was time to commit to painting professionally again, from her wonderful studio in the cottage - surrounded by gardens, trees and birdsong.
We are so pleased to welcome Esther to Quay Art Gallery and cannot wait to share.