“How will you go about finding that thing that the nature of which is totally unknown to you?” (Meno, Plato)
Florence Sweeney’s latest works have developed as an amalgamation of sculpture and painting to produce sensory experiences of surface, material and form. She is searching for a closeness that is unknown to her, through a tactile installation. Presenting a selection of specific objects that relate in close or distant ways to one another, the artist weaves painting and sculpture into three-dimensional forms in an exploration of their 'unknown natures'.
The objects show sign of their maker applying pressure, carving away and laying to fold. Sweeney uses mediums similar to those her deceased mother once used in the pursuit of finding a connection with her; a mark that remains after the passing of its maker.
Sweeney develops abstract paintings that push against the constraining two-dimensional frame using enfolded, pigmented surfaces of powdery softness and bulging high lustre. With pigment of burnt bones, ultramarine and concrete in contrast to fleshy pink latex she creates curves and folds. The objects' shadows emphasise the three-dimensional reliefs, evoking a cathartic resonance between gesture and form of deep brooding blues and light absorbing surfaces.
The compositional use of negative space within the installation is perplexing. The surfaces are subverted; light and shadow play on the face of the objects, demonstrating the subtle duality of the chosen materials. Thus the objects become incursions in space, breaking down the paint/canvas relation. The initial movement imposed onto the material is left to settle, remaining gestural and expressive but simultaneously a physical presence.