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Behind her eyelids she sees something. […]

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Kaye Donachie’s paintings pay tribute to a cast of historical female figures. Modernist performers, futurist actresses and non-conformist poets become protagonists connected by their unconventional beliefs and preferences. The paintings recognize the allure of these individuals and the extent to which they have stimulated Donachie to illuminate their specific histories, posing questions such as what it is to be present, to be active, to have a voice, and to assume ultimately, some measure of control over creative and emotional labour. The narratives within the paintings are given structure by the visceral sensation of light, outline and intensity of surfaces that evoke images surrounding the various subjects of her investigation. In this visual essay Donachie shares recent pictorial research that focuses on the writings of Marguerite Duras. The images do not dwell on Duras narrative but attempt to capture the writer’s strange ability to show how one space and time can dissolve into another through the form of an elliptical poem. Using painted cyanotypes Donachie draws directly on an illuminated source, with Duras novella providing a painterly alchemy for overlaying figural images and condensing time.
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Keywords: Marguerite Duras; cyanotype; fiction; image; painting; poetry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2016

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Contemporary Painting responds to the territory and practice of contemporary painting in its broadest sense, viewing painting as a context for discussion, exploring its sphere of history and influence, rather than as a medium specific debate. The JCP combines a thematic approach with an open call, each issue opening up and problematising pressing concerns in contemporary painting.

    As well as contributions to current debates on contemporary art, a particular feature of the Journal of Contemporary Painting is the publication of archival or newly translated texts alongside current responsive articles, based on the premise that contemporary painting cannot be understood without reflecting on its history. Dedication to understanding the nature and forms of painting research has also led to the inclusions of an original visual essay for every edition. Additionally we respond to current exhibitions, books and symposia, nationally and internationally, in our reviews section.

    Our aim is to be responsive to current debates in painting and related art practices, drawing from a wide geographical field and across discipline boundaries to provide a discursive space in which a range of subject specialisms can be brought to bear on the culture of painting. We are particularly interested in writing emerging from practice-based research as well as from academics working in different disciplines.

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