“A Good Drying Day”

Matilda Dumas Exhibition | Studio Direct

Work will be hung at the Michael Reid Gallery

From Wed 13 Jan 2021

2/358 Barrenjoey Road, Newport 2016

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Matilda Dumas grew up on a farm in the beautiful Araluen Valley. The Australian bush is a  is a constant influence on her work, the light and atmosphere of this hot, intricate land informing her every mark.

“As Rembrandt said ‘without atmosphere painting is nothing’ and it is the brooding essence of a place, the simple reflections of domestic life or capturing a fleeting expression that I’m interested in in my work”.

Straddling ground somewhere between abstraction and reality, Matilda aims to relate her responses to both the physical and atmospheric conditions of the Australian landscape. My work taps into her emotional response to place, it’s energy and power.

The process of painting is important to her, and is both physically and mentally immersive and helps inform her mark making. She mixes wax with oil paints to obtain a buttery paint consistency that is applied gesturally using palette knives and brushes. She will often paint Plein air and attend life drawing sessions regularly.

“Long story short, covid has found me not in London as planned, but in country NSW; painting what is about me, the farmland of my family and the remnants of bush, both indigenous and exotic. My clotheslines started as an extension of my landscape painting but with time to think and read in lockdown, to me they seemed to embody much more. They came to symbolise occupation, not only of a house telling you someone is at home, but a broader occupation. The occupation of Australia. The washing hanging on the line mimicking bodies against the backdrop of cultivated farmland. The shadows are cast long and strange across the grass and the words and connotations to do with washing are oddly appropriate to our treatment of this country’s first people. On one level they are nostalgic domestic images with connotations of a simple life, a domestic ritual, a washing away of dirt but somehow even with that nostalgia they symbolise a lot more”.

Sydney College of the Arts BA
Chelsea Art School – Life Drawing
2020 Maunsell Wicks Solo Show
2020 Helen Stephens Solo Show
2019 Be Brave Art Space Solo Show
2018 Walcha Gallery of Art Solo Show
Multiple Group Shows


Raw Art Prize Finalist
NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize Finalist
Frensham Art Prize Finalist

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