Liquid Fire references the fluidity and everchanging form of flames and incorporates the symbolic colour for fire in both Indian (white) and Tibetan (red) Buddhist traditions. I created a luminosity in the painting alluding to the transformative aspect of the fire element. By adding hot encaustic wax to the painting then burning it in with a heat gun added a sense of alchemic transmutation, further enhancing the idea of fire as transformation.
About the Artist
Based at the edge of the Royal National Park, artist Carmen Ky is primarily a painter and printmaker. She has also worked as a photographer on books and documentary films in Kakadu and the Himalayas and collaborated on projects with indigenous Australian artists and elders. She has a Diploma of Painting from the National Art School Sydney. Graduate Diploma in Printmaking from College of Fine Arts UNSW Sydney. A Master of Philosophy from the College of Art and Social Sciences, School of Art & Design Australian National University.
For 17 years she taught painting and printmaking at several TAFE colleges, the National Art School and EORA Faculty of Aboriginal Studies in Sydney.
Carmen Ky ‘s paintings bring together western traditional art training, eastern philosophy and a deep connection to the Australian landscape. These works celebrate the numinous presence of natural environments. They are the result of immersion and contemplation in diverse landscapes as well as research into cultural interpretations of the ancient philosophy of the Five Elements: earth, water, fire, air and space. Carmen deploys specific landscapes to symbolize the intrinsic qualities of each element and transform the landscape in terms of colour, shape, light, luminosity and meaning by responding to deserts, ocean, mountains, rainforest, air and space itself.
“Art is about ideas. For me regions of nature induce an osmosis, a gradual assimilation of knowledge and ideas, a liminal way of working with energy, light and colour to create or dissolve form and transform space in my paintings. By bringing another perspective to the elements, I hope to evoke a deep respect for our natural environment.”
Carmen Ky has had many solo shows, been in various curated exhibitions and group shows around Australia and overseas and won several art prizes. She is represented in public and private collections around Australia and overseas.
Carmen suggests that drawing on various cultural experiences and integrating them opens up the potential of painting as a field within which different philosophical, cultural, formal and material influences can be brought together into a fluid exchange.