Ngaio Lenz’s paintings spring from her environment, from the harsh, hot dusty outback of Australia, her pictures textured and layered, the colours earthbound and ancient.
Lenz celebrates time and its effects on the surface of materiality, each painting borne out of an aesthetic that celebrates imperfection. The torn, ravaged, broken down colours, textures and materials, including vintage wallpapers, paint, inks and waxes, simultaneously hidden and revealed as she scrapes back, sands over, scratches into, innumerable layers of materials until the final image emerges into the light.
These paintings are a poetic history of time, of the relationships, combinations and interactions between materials and objects, are a reminder of our mortality, of the stories and memories that are left behind. Here’s what she has to say about her work:
Identity, its about our identity and how we see ourselves compared to how others see us and the social roles we play to be accepted by our peers. Layers of oil paint have been added and scraped and scratched back giving a feeling of how sometimes we need to scratch back the surface to really understand ourselves and others.
Abstract works provide me an outlet for pure intuitive mark making, allowing colour to be built up and then eliminated to reveal marks and lines, often accidental, but purposefully left. Neutral tones, taupes,and lots of white, sometimes a splash of red and chocolate are my favored palette. Mostly there is just a pure joy in the paint being moved around the canvas. The sense of connection to the found objects being place, and the thread of nostalgia for the texture and smell of the papers and letters used in the collages I also work on.