15 October – 1 November 2020
about the exhibition
Canberra artist Kirrily Humphries borrows the title of this exhibition from a poem, ‘Crumbling is not an instant’s act’, by the American writer Emily Dickinson. The poem evokes the process of decay and the passing of time, and these are reflected in Kirrily’s vignettes of abandoned interiors; small-scale, luminous works built up in many layers of translucent oil glazes. She says of her work; “I become quietly absorbed in the solitary exploration of architectural space. In my isolation I feel a heightened sense of physical presence, an amplified sensory awareness. The excited terror of exploring space forbidden or unknown intensifies this experience, presenting a realm for fantasy, anticipation and unfolding narrative. Based on my expeditions within contemporary ruins, I paint moments of sublime revelation, found in their distinct phenomenological and physiological experience. Informed by a single location, in these desolate interiors I confront my anxieties, my fears of destruction, and the transience and brevity of human legacy.” Taking months to complete, her astoundingly detailed tiny paintings repay close, quiet study by viewers, replicating her immersive experience in their creation.
Kirrily graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the Australian National University in 2016, having studied on exchange at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris in 2014. Since her graduation, her works have been exhibited in the ACT, New South Wales and the Northern Territory and she was a finalist in the 2019 Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award.