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Abstracted Love: Meredith Marsone Explores Relationships

Her beautiful abstracted works highlight the benevolence of messy love, queer or not.


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A work from Abstracted Love.

Meredith Marsone

There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. They’re messy, ever changing, and force you to see yourself through another person’s eyes.

Real relationships are completely different from the Hollywood tales of love and romance.  

That’s why Meredith Marsone’s new show, Abstracted Love, is a breath of fresh air.

Hailing from a small wintry coastal town in New Zealand, Meredith lifts the veil on intimate moments in relationships that often go unnoticed. She observes how we connect to each other through our body language – her paintings capture a glance, a blush, or the slightest touch of skin.

“There are so many aspects to relationships that are under-discussed,” said Meredith, “For example, the very real fact that your partner is there to hold a less than glamorous mirror up for you to see the parts of yourself that need growth, healing, accepting or addressing in some way. If you don't accept this to be true, you'll deem your relationship 'broken' or your partner 'not right for you'.”

“Nothing’s broken. That’s what relationships are – people are growing machines.”

Meredith exploded onto the international art scene over the past twelve months with her unique mixture of portraiture and abstract art.  She’s exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and is currently working with galleries in New York, San Francisco and Illinois.

Abstracted Love runs from 26 May until 11 of June at the Friends of Leon Gallery in Sydney and features eighteen oil paintings with poems hidden behind the frames of key works. Her characters, depicted in cool icy tones, are frozen in a moment of time; embracing, hugging, letting go and holding on.

While you could consider every piece a self-portrait of Meredith, they’re based on people she’s encountered throughout her life.

“It was important to me that this body of work wasn’t just exploring a ‘straight’ story of love, but more an exploration of human connection in all its shades,” said Meredith.

“I’ve used friends from various walks of life – straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, androgynous, cross-dressing... because it’s important to me that my audience can find a truth in there for themselves. And maybe I also wanted to challenge the viewer that initially just sees 'straight love' in the imagery that what they are seeing is in fact something more complex and rich but very human and relatable.”

In Meredith’s paintings, her characters seem to appear and disappear among her dripping thick oil paints of pastel blues, washed out ochres and lashings of silver foiling. Her realistic detailed figures are often fully rendered on the canvas, but Meredith then obscures them with thick amounts of paint using a palette knife.

“There's a very real risk the painting will get destroyed in the adding of the abstract paint, which I find quite analogous to the idea of clashing with your mate and either working through it together or coming apart,” she said. “But it’s an important addition to the work, as is the clash is in a union!”

There are no fairy tale endings in Abstracted Love, but that doesn’t worry Meredith.

“All of them show aspects of what it is to go through the growing pains of a love relationship and how ultimately that is perfect and as it should be.”

Where:  Friends of Leon Gallery, 82 Marlborough Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 

When: 26 May – 11 June

Launch Night: Cocktail function with music, open to the general public –Thursday 26 May 6-8pm.  

Website: http://friendsofleon.com/ 

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