Miranda Skoczek: Rag Rugs and Lion Heads


Miranda Skoczek’s abstract paintings evoke old walls with layers of forms and shapes that emerge over time. In her studio, she might work simultaneously on nine canvases. Transferring from one to the other, she allows each oil layer to dry before repeatedly painting over it until jewel-like colours resonate and a spatial sensibility has been established within which the viewer may dwell. Skoczek told Art Guide Australia,

“I don’t paint about social concerns. I create wholly immersive, beautiful pictures. They are places for escape and restoration: harmonious, calming pictures.”

In her exhibition of new work for Edwina Corlette Gallery, Rag Rugs and Lion Heads, she has made a shift to looser, more expressive works that are “minimal for me.” As her exhibition title suggests, these are inspired by tribal rag rugs created from any available material. The life force of kinship ties and traditions in these decorative works attracts Skoczek. “I want to emulate the feeling of cloth and textile, the emotion inherent in their materiality,” she says. Her other reference point is lions, particularly those in the art of Iran, as a touchstone of strength and personal power.

Skoczek’s own cultural heritage is eastern European (Polish, some Russian). While she was born in Australia, she explains, “The rich culture of textiles and traditional embroidery has always been present in my life. It’s innate.” In Shimmer, a wobbly horizon line divides the canvas in two. Within a predominantly green section above the line, soft pinks resonate both underneath and over the translucent green paint. Below the line are transparent colours, enigmatic shapes and a hint of graffiti mark-making. Their sensual textures, influences and colourful abstraction position these paintings as poetic visual essays.

Miranda Skoczek
Rag Rugs and Lion Heads
Edwina Corlette Gallery
14 November – 5 December

Preview Words by Louise Martin-Chew