19 July – 6 August 2022
Mitchell Fine Art Gallery, Fortitude Valley
Sydney-based artist and Archibald Prize finalist Mirra Whale examines the way humans personify, interpret and curate the world around us in her second solo exhibition at Mitchell Fine Art.
Whale explores everyday subjects and presents them from another angle, exploring the formal and conceptual limits of the genre of still life. Groups of everyday objects take on human characteristics in Whale’s latest exhibition, Orange Blue, focusing on the placement of these objects and their relationship with each other and with shadow and light.
“Jars, vinegar bottles, milk containers and plant cuttings have been stripped of any identifying labels or stickers and yet are immediately recognisable,” said Whale. “They are placed into situations that are discernibly a gossip circle, a parade, or a street procession. There are individuals that are being embraced, whispered to, and excluded. And yet they are only a sauce bottle or a vase.”
The artworks in this exhibition have been pared back to muted tones and simple compositions of conventional, mundane objects. The shadows that they cast resemble city skylines or contorted, prehistoric landscapes, and orange hues give the illusion of brilliant sunsets and dramatic weather events, until you realise that they are colours on a tablecloth with the detritus of some long-finished meal or human gathering. These works are an exploration of colour and composition, approaching the subject matter in a playful, tongue in cheek manner.