Sydney based multi-disciplinary artist Criena Court’s practice spans collage, painting, sculpture and installation. Within the dialogue of painting outside the canvas, Court’s latest body of work Un-becoming: parts of the whole, continues her ongoing enquiry into reality, perception and self, by exploring space and our psychological relationship to environments.

In this latest work Court returns once more to the painted surface, as a starting point, in order to consider and deconstruct illusory systems within which we formulate our perceptions of reality. 

The notion of ‘un-becoming’ represents the breaking apart of observed elements (photography, nature, geometry, surfaces, colour), and reconfiguring them and their influence in distilled settings, creating new realities.

By deconstructing and reassembling the elements and base materials underpinning painting, and presenting them to the viewer, Court’s work is created via a process almost akin to that of alchemy. Through this re-examination of the basic ideas, materials and constructs on which the history of painting rests, Court challenges us to re-consider, re-imagine and re-evaluate their aesthetic and conceptual value, before re-assembling them in a way which allows for the creation of a new aesthetic value system.

Examining systems such as geometry, mathematics and architecture, Court forms a hybrid reality balancing conceptual binaries of within/without, above/below, real/unreal, nature/built environment.

These mixed media compositions, from two dimensions into three dimensions, encourage observation of a different kind, the viewer is asked to look outside ordinary phenomena. They are temporal, acquiescent and provide less predictable situations of viewing that are simultaneously real and false - composed of real parts, yet false because they are not the whole1. They are willingly altering states, while willing the viewer to alter his/her state of observation and perspective.

Always aware of the tension between the work and the viewer (as a defining factor of the phenomena), Court ponders our formulation of reality and the level of illusion/delusion we are willing to entertain to formulate or reconcile the whole. As in the nature of the self, are we prepared to undergo fragmentation of the known to reimagine the nature of harmony and wholeness in the unknown?

Criena Court completed a BFA (Hons) at the National Art School in 2010 and has exhibited extensively in Sydney including exhibitions at MOP, The National Art School and the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. Un-becoming: parts of the whole is her second solo exhibition at Artereal Gallery.

photography by Christopher Ireland

[1] (p.30 eastern body, western mind)