Who is afraid of greenpinkpurpleblue?
Langford 120, Melbourne, Australia
2011

This exhibition of recent paintings and works on paper by Irene Barberis and Wilma Tabacco reaffirms their long-standing deployment of colour for its expressive potentialities.  Although colour and form are inevitably viewed simultaneously Barberis and Tabacco, each in the evolution of their own idiolect, have created works in which colour acts as a primary visual stimulant and as a symbolic code.  

‘I found I could say things with colors that I couldn't say in any other way – things that I had no words for’ 
(Georgia O’Keeffe)

‘Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet’ (Paul Klee)

‘He who wishes to become a master of color must see, feel, and experience each individual color in its endless combinations with all other colors’ (Johannes Itten)

‘I can paint you the skin of Venus with mud, provided you let me surround it as I will’ (Eugene Delacroix)
 

One thrills at the myriad of quotes by artists and philosophers across the ages, its fascinating; all responding, reading, seeing and using colour in significantly unique ways. The language of colour to me, be it through a logical system or an intuitive response, is the measure by which my discourse intersects with knowledges, in signs, codes, patterns and indices. 


In this exhibition, ‘greenpinkpurpleblue’ sentences of colour are hand-painted in quadrants of concentric circles: Some circles are generated by the symbolic colour codes of the Apocalypse, reflecting early illuminated Manuscripts of the Speculum Theologie, while others engage an intuitive colour positioning through a replication of the magnified edges of my early large scale figurative paintings, where ‘edge’ becomes the site of the liminal, a parallax.

Colour of course is light…with psychology bandaged to it some would say. 

Irene Barberis 2011