Paint Tin Fantasias


Paint Tin Fantasias plays on fantasy and pictorial illusion in both painting and cinema. Twenty-one common paint tins are used as the "canvas". paint tins. Each of tins is painted in a bright colour, with drips running down the sides, to look like artifice rather than accident. Inside each coloured tin is a painting emerging from the swirls of unmixed pigment: twenty-one scenes from well-known movies all narrating delusions of grandeur – a flawed character whose perception of themselves is based on an illusion regarding their wealth, beauty or power.

The series was produced for a solo exhibition at The Farm, Brisbane, in 2004, where it was presented in a theatrical scenography, as if the gallery were in the process of being repainted, with the tins scattered all over the floor.

Can’t live if livin’ is without you...

Extracts from exhibition essay by Zara Stanhope

Has no one cleaned up? Did I miss the show? Domestic paint tins sit, open and used on the gallery floor. Their neatness, despite the paint that has oozed artistically down the can, signals a purpose. These are not forgotten goods. Presumably the tins have a purpose in this setting. Are they conceptual containers, vessels for meaning? Jewel-like compositions play where the surface of the paint should be, suggesting they were created by the fortuitous mixing of tints. Here are chance encounters, like the heart appearing atop the froth of a latte or the scenes Leonardo da Vinci envisioned within stains on a wall. Icons to St. Dulux.

The Paint Tin Fantasias contain a set of painted reproductions of film stills; grabs from Adaptation, Taxi Driver and The Big Lebowski, amongst others. Mirages of wonder given three dimensional form. In addition, these tins are interfaces; between the disciplines of film and painting, between matter and image, representation and content. Painting is the subject and the tins are painting’s epidermis, filtering relations between representational media.

These Fantasias span several genres, from sci-fi to gritty reality to historic portraiture but all are haunted by a sense of deception, the human capacity to delude and to be susceptible to illusion, that result in misperceptions and altered subjectivities, often attended by unfortunate consequences ... the phantasm that haunts the Paint Tin Fantasias is not that we cannot forget the beginnings or essence of painting but their reminder of exactly what is unique to painting...

The complete essay by Zara Stanhope is available here to download in the exhibition guide.

Cinema Projects