Submitted Review

Kirsty Budge ‘If you’re gonna spew, spew into this’

  • Daine Singer • Fitzroy

  • 17 November—18 December 2020

  • James Murnane • Published 08 December 2020

Oh, the curious fluidity of dreams! Whilst one’s surrounds and encounters seem to have a waking realness, almost every one of these elements proceedingly, and ever so subtly, morph.

Oh, the fecund fluidity of both paint and painted form! A slippery material means of rendering, what is more often than not, the as-yet unseen.

In spite of not strictly being renderings of dreamscapes (encompassing more broadly memories, past travels, culture, emotional and psychological experience) Kirsty Budge’s employment of the painterly process in her most recent suite of works richly evoke a dream’s mutational flux. Washes, seemingly loose, often contain the hint of a face or recognisable form, whilst the opaquely painted and more clearly rendered forms are often the slipperiest, abstracted sections of a work. And justly so, for in a dream nothing is set, all may change. Vestiges of erased forms, wiped or painted over, offer further, though corrupted, hints of the history, as when, if like the writer, one rouses from a dream and only the barest fragments remain of what so very recently subconsciously unfurled.

‘Oh, the curious fluidity of dreams!’

The sense of fluidity is aided by recent steps taken by Budge in her practice. Only the barest remnants of the film-still thumbnail, frequently present in works of the past three years, reveal themselves only in shadowy visages held by the irregular frame of surrounding forms. And the large modernist forms, previously colliding and connecting in more painterly strokes, are here rendered with delicacy and clarity, affording a viewer diving in at any visual point a fresh flowing journey through the work. Lastly, the relative intimacy in scale of this recent fruit of Budge’s domestic studio seem to encourage reverie all the more.