Marie Le Lievre
With a BA in criminology, the artist plumbs fears real and imagined from a dreamy internal world, writes Andrew Paul Wood.
Christchurch-based Marie Le Lievre’s paintings are wonderfully intricate mechanisms of concealment and revelation. Though she’s a graduate of Canterbury University’s School of Fine Arts, with a BFA (hons) in painting in 2007, and MFA (distinction) in 2008, she also has a BA in Criminology from Victoria, which may explain something of her work. Biomorphic pools of translucent and opaque pigment in cool monochromes are containers to catch up a personal vocabulary of symbols hinting at real or imagined fears, anxieties and concerns and various spiritual, therapeutic and holistic coping strategies. Sometimes they are veils obscuring the subtle, richly hued flamelets flickering at the edges like oracular and unknowable truths. Surfaces ripple and crackle like skin. Colours bleed like flesh. Shadows move at the corner of your eye. Often those great oceanic forms, amoebic and timeless, lost in their own song outside our range of hearing, bristle with drawn lines that are sometimes scaffolding, sometimes a scrub of eyelashes and sometimes spell out words. More recently Le Lievre has incorporated photographs as a surface to paint on, bringing her dreaming inscapes into the real world.
1. ‘Hooked Paraphernalia’. 2. ‘Factory’. 3. ‘Seven’. Photography courtesy the artist and Jonathan Smart Gallery. 1