Aster XI 2005 oil on canvas 122 x 122 cm Collection of John Cronin
Cathy Blanchflower (1971-)
Taking no shortcuts, the abstract artist Cathy Blanchflower has patiently constructed a strong visual language over the past twenty years, showing great care in her attempts to achieve harmony between herself and the world through painting. Graphically her works depict the same rigour in their construction, calling our attention to the complex depth of visual effects that can be achieved through repetitive rhythms in musical composition. Originally born in the UK, Blanchflower spent her formative years living in Perth following her family’s migration to Australia, completing a degree in Visual Art at Curtin University in 1992. Soon after graduating she established herself amongst West Australia’s Geometric Abstractionist movement of the late 1990s, presenting a series of visually jarring and technologically inspired paintings titled Atlas at Goddard de Fiddes Contemporary Art Gallery in 1998. These optically dynamic compositions were mainly constructed through bold contrasts of black, white and navy, producing a pattern of layered loops that repeated to inform the infinitely changing space of colour and movement. Her use of block colours reflected the dramatic contrasts in light that she experienced in Perth. These sit in stark contrast to the muted pastel and grey tones of paintings completed in Melbourne after 2004. Now living and working in the Blue Mountains of NSW, her most recent work responds to the natural tones of the environment around her, interpreted through a string of loose organic patterns which are patiently overlaid onto the canvas. With each painting, Blanchflower constructs a complicated system of interconnected colours and shapes, evoking a complex network of relations – between decoration and function, sound and vision, different cultures and eras, even variations in light from one side of Australia to another.