23 August 2011


Sybil Curtis, 'Strike A Light' 2011, oil on linen, 35 x 35cm
The detailed painting ‘Strike A Light’ by Sybil Curtis presents a silent moment within a deserted industrial building on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island. Curtis’ ability to find the beauty in and give warmth to factory scenes and other areas of construction is displayed in this image through her use of tone and light. Despite her employment of hard lines and solid shapes, softness is achieved through the teal features and blue undertones.

The salient feature is five roadwork bollards huddled along a wall, providing a point of contrast. As they jump from the otherwise calm colour pallet, they become personified. The arched windows and streaming light, that are a focus of ‘Strike A Light,’ give this industrial setting a Cathedral-like presence. As Curtis explains, she is interested in the energy created when different structural elements are interfacing, such as “…when two colours or textures meet, or a curve intersects with a straight line.”

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