When the viewer first glances at one of my paintings, the image and viewer lock eyes. The image stares back with a shifting, slivered gaze, appealing to the viewer to seek resolution of its ever-elusive form. Confronted with irreconcilable fragments or impenetrable blind spots, the viewer struggles to answer the image’s plea. Savouring the seductive exchange, the viewer and image become entwined in an active portrait of the experience of looking. ~ A. Clyne.
When looking at Clyne’s paintings, there is an emotional chemistry at work, sadness and indeed a plea, features in each piece and across each series. It goes deeper than the simple melancholy of a beautiful woman though. Clyne’s work invites you to look closer, which is perhaps the plea of all women and perhaps every one of us.What at first seems the epitome of feminine beauty and winsome charm soon becomes not just splintered, but deformed. The aesthetic is warped with shadows, bulges and bleeding colour, transforming picture perfection into a disturbing hypnosis.
Today, Clyne is most influenced by the fashion industry and the images of perfection and beauty it perpetuates. She explains, ‘I’m also really interested in the expressions of sadness that permeate fashion images, in the models’ expressions of melancholy, longing, perhaps even shame. What does it say about our culture that these images are successful marketing strategies? Or is it just not noticed? Or are we so immune to such images that we can no longer connect to the emotions on display?
With her most recent work, including the Silver Series, the artist used images from fashion magazines, but in the past (as with the Old Masters Series) she drew from historical portraits.
We were very lucky that Amanda was so kind to let us her complex and yet appealing art to go with Christine’s essay ‘Removing the Scars.’