Blind faith

Jude Rae is unquestionably one of Australia’s finest painters. Her deeply considered still life works demonstrate paintings capacity to reconfigure vision for the viewer providing us with a sensate experience that feels utterly crucial in a visual world saturated by the deluge of visual information untethered to meaning.

What might appear to be quiet meditations on composition, form and stillness, over time reveal themselves to be complex visual essays on the physicality and contingency of vision and the precariousness of conception and understanding.

It is the manner in which Rae’s paintings redirect vision from the purely ocular, co-opting an accumulated awareness of what it means to see and to feel.

That vision is so relentlessly assailed in contemporary life poses challenges to our faith in its role and obligation to give co-ordinates by which we might find our way.

The notion “seeing is believing” depends on placing faith in the veracity of vision. In a world damaged by “alternative facts” the very best painting offers the opportunity to reestablish the ability and indeed need to discriminate visually and conceptually. Restoring trust, if not in the image itself is fundamental to our ability to make sense of the world.

Jude Rae was twice been the winner of the Portia Geach Memorial Award and in 2016 was the recipient of the Bvlgari Award. Her paintings are held in museums collections throughout Australasia and in private collections around the world.

Opening on August the 17th, The Drill Hall Gallery is hosting a survey curated by Terence Malloon of Jude’s works focusing on paintings from the last decade. This includes examples of her extraordinary Interiors, works of Jude’s not widely known by her audience. Painted on a grand scale these works appear to be the antithesis of a discreet still life painting and yet Rae brings the same assiduity to the analysis of space and tone that characterise her Still Life paintings.

On the 31st of August the Sydney gallery will exhibit new paintings of Jude’s and there will also be new works presented at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair.