Having made extraordinary obelisk-shaped forms for her last exhibition, Louise Tuckwell—known for her hard-edge paintings—found herself exploring an exciting space: paintings you can walk around. It seemed natural, then, to continue. Her new project includes large person-height cuboids, painted dramatically on all visible surfaces.
Tuckwell’s creating of well-known two-dimensional works featuring geometric configurations have always appeared, at first sight, to be pure, non-objective paintings. Further inspection, though, reveals subtle changes in perspective that lead the eye into an architectural realm. Her new show, with five of the large cuboids and about 20 wall works, extends that imaginative space: where the previous obelisks were somewhat carnivalesque with vertical stripes and bright fields of colour, this time Tuckwell upsets the equilibrium by inserting fluro-coloured strips. On her wall works, she uses line-work in pencil to bring another sort of disruption.
Tuckwell is intrigued with the possibilities of her work. “For me it is all about colour and shape,” she says. “I have a warm eye and orange is my favourite colour. I have to force myself to do blues and greens. But it is good to do that, and that is what I have done. Years ago, I used to try and deny my love of colour because it was too strong.”
Tuckwell also used to create well-received tapestries, but she prefers the direct results of painting. A sculptor friend manufactures the cubes and Tuckwell begins with a “semi-plan” but then works more intuitively as she progresses, choosing colours more fluidly. All those straight lines and references to Euclidean geometry and mathematics are certainly present, but their cool intellect is tempered by Tuckwell’s infectious feeling for colour.
This article was originally published in the November/December 2021 print edition of Art Guide Australia.