'Composition in Blue' opening at Belconnen Arts Centre

You’re invited! Please join me from 6pm on Tues evening Nov 20 for the opening celebration of my wall drawing ‘Composition in Blue’ at Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra, alongside the wonderful exhibition ‘Made of Holes’ by Lucy Irvine @lucy.e.irvine.

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Annika Romeyn Composition in blue, 2018

Gouache and watercolour on gallery wall, dimensions variable


Composition in blue is an abstract arrangement of intersecting organic shapes, inspired by the night sky and the wonder, mystery and dynamism evoked by stars. Drawn directly on the gallery wall with gouache and watercolour, the swirling, ethereal composition evolved organically with constellation-like relationships emerging as layers were added.

The component shapes are inverted, distorted details drawn from my recent monotype prints depicting relatively small-scale earthly subjects, including rock formations and eroded gully walls. Reimagined and reanimated to the music of The Griffyn Ensemble, the fragmented shapes are intended to suggest the broader reoccurrence of patterns in nature, connecting earth and sky, solid and fluid.

In working directly on the curved wall, I aimed to create an immersive experience where viewers could become enveloped by the shifting, spatial and optical qualities of the drawing. Disappearing into the gallery wall, I wanted my drawing to acknowledge that the stars visible to the naked eye are only a minute fraction of those that exist.

For me, the unfathomable sense of scale and distance associated with the stars is a great source of wonder and humility. I pondered over the fact that by the time the light of distant stars reaches us we are looking deep into the past and I was reminded of Rebecca Solnit’s poetic description of ‘the blue of distance’, which informed my choice of colour:

‘I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen... the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.’

(Rebecca Solint, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Viking Penguin, 2005, p.25)