Trevor Dunbar: Head of Visual Arts Canberra Grammar School

The challenge that lies in constructing abstract work with the  multiple levels of engagement that Enriquez demonstrates is a measure of the commitment she has for her practice. All genres of painting demand their own criteria for success and the process of abstraction is arguably one of the most challenging. Her skill as an artist is demonstrated in her ability to construct such poweful works from such minimal elements  (Vgr. Enigma or Soñar go to Gallery).

Susana Enriquez story is a fascinating one and as much as art communicates, this body of work is a measure of the Time and Place she finds herself in. Each work is a response to her own journey and the importance of the studio in her life, which she commits herself to daily in pursuit of her own goals.

* Fragment selected from the text   Whereaver it may lead from the exhibition at John Miller Gallery in 2008

 

A personal reflection: Trevor Dunbar

This latest Body of Work, “Wherever it may Lead” by Susana Enriquez showing at the John Miller Galleries in Newcastle is a tribute to her strength as an abstract painter. Much of Post modernism has seen a return to the figurative in painting and despite this trend Enriquez remains in passionate pursuit of the challenges of working with the non-figurative to reflect her own powerful aesthetic.

It is a tribute to Enriquez that her work continues to develop with such power and strength. The exhibition is a sustained and engaging show of some 20 works. The challenge that lies in constructing an abstract work with the multiple levels of engagement that Enriquez demonstrates is a measure of the commitment she has for her practice.

All genres of painting demand their own criteria for success and the process of abstraction is arguably one of the most challenging. Her skill as an artist is demonstrated in her ability to construct such powerful works from such minimal elements. Enriquez’s work is largely monochromatic and includes a juxtaposition of the structure of the square (which is based on the Mexican Huicholes) with very fluid elements both that implies a great sense of depth and are indeed very contemplative.

Enriquez brings to her work a background of experiences as diverse as they are unique. There is a sense of the academic in the perceived structures within the work as much as there is the sense that the fluid and the spontaneous elements exist to complement the way in which the subject matter is constructed. The eye is always tempted to locate signs and symbols in an abstract work to ease the notion of communicating with the painting. This is no different in Enriquez work. The hint of subject matter that is figurative seems to appear and disappear in the works. This too ads to the already complex levels of engagement that exist in each work, harmonious and incongruous, predominantly cool colour harmonies are integrated in some of the larger pieces with their complementary hue. It is the combining of these opposing elements that tend to challenge the viewer with the notion that not all is peaceful in these works.

Susana Enriquez story is a fascinating one and as much as art communicates, this body of work is a measure of the Time and Place she finds herself in. Each work is a response to her own journey and the importance of the studio in her life, which she commits herself to daily in pursuit of her own goals. To see the paintings on an individual basis and to see them as an exhibition of work is a rewarding experience and again a testimony to her skill and dedication as an artist.

Trevor Dunbar Head of Visual Arts Canberra Grammar School

Director The Gallery Canberra Grammar School