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Ann Cape has captured the spirit of the landforms from a recent trip to Arnhem Land, which she undertook in the company of good friend and fellow artist Jenny Sages. In all of Ann's work there is a real sense of movement where figures and the abstract spaces which they inhabit coalesce, creating a dynamic interplay between dimensions. In a number of paintings from the new series the aboriginal people she has represented move through this world as almost ghostlike 'presences' that have a connection with their traditions.

Constantly challenging her methods, Ann manages to freely skirt around the literal translations of representation and the abstract, constructing images that resonate with us through the use of space and the raw and immediate nature of her line, at the same time maintaining a vital human connection. Ann says: "It's all about the face for me." She captures the people that mean so much to her, yet her pictures are much more than portraiture. These subjects become touchstones, a jumping point where the spaces and breezy application of paint allow us into the narrative and give us a chance to experience what it was that initially caught the artist's eye and became her inspiration.

The new body of work builds upon her distinguished, lyrically figurative art practice. It's obvious to see that Cape's experiences during recent travels to the country's heartland had a profound effect on the artist's approach to her art. Through their warmth and understatement the Arnhem land pieces will force you to delve into their nuances and share that journey. The artist has deliberately tried to combine the delicacy of her drawing style and mark making with the 'elemental' nature of her scumbles and layering of paint. In all of Ann Cape's work there is a genuine investment of energy, a skill of showing those marks that build a final transformative image.

Whether it be the texture of a cave rock face or the flesh of an 'odalesque' figure study, you can guarantee that the artist will allow you to examine its presence from the inside out.

- Steve Lopes

Ann Cape's exhibition as featured in The Mosman Daily, click here to view the pdf.

For further information, please email ng@ngart.com.au

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