15-16 October 2011
Carolina Ambida’s paintings are based on found images sourced primarily from the internet. Such images would have begun as a photograph before finally finding their way into newspapers, magazines and image banks on the web. Like the snapshot snippets Ambida’s paintings aspire to, they contain within them an adherence to their photographic purpose. However despite their given reference the paintings take on a very different guise and having shed some of their original purpose the paintings become more emblematic. Ambida is interested in articulating a feminine reality within the limits of female representation and the media at large. She states, ‘Painting enables me to engage in role-playing - where I take a pre-existing image and make it my own’. The paintings often depict lone female figures engaged in minor acts such as sunbathing, looking into a mirror, or walking along the beach, however, the paintings can also depict subjects who are engaged in more decisive acts such as the femme fatale brandishing a gun, or a ballerina on stage. The paintings are made wet-on-wet, in ‘one go’. Tentative brushstrokes give way to imbue the paintings with a febrile uncertainty, and material presence. Ambida relishes the idea of how a painting can start off somewhere and end up in a very different place – a place where painting cohabitates with photographic reality.
The series of oval paintings that she is showing at Strip depict cameo moments prompted by a found image. Cameo in a sense that they are descriptive – somehow encapsulating a type or something both familiar and yet strange.
The title Blue Crocodile, toys with the idea of beauty. On the one hand its potent allure encapsulated in the luxurious moment of sunbathing on holiday – face turned towards a clear blue sky juxtaposed with a conjuring up of something potentially monstrous as in the idea of the ‘crocodile’.
Beauty and the familiar is again the ‘hinge’ in Cotton candy land, where the figure becomes a stand-in Eve in the garden of Eden, however the age-old story of Eve’s transgression against God has taken a decorative turn, where the eye-catching yellow dress sits like an exotic bird against an alarming cascade of striking red, pink and scarlet bougainvillea.