Janet Angus – Soul vs Soul

X Gallery
32 Gibraltar Street, Bungendore NSW
Until 5 June 2021
Open Fridays to Mondays 11am to 5pm

Janet Angus draws inspiration from architecture in this exhibition, in particular the brutalist. She has created a collection of three-dimensional works using layers of ply which are then painted, thus making a form of hanging sculpture which is at the same time a ‘painting’ in the traditional sense.

Barbie spoke to Janet Angus at X Gallery

Using a palette of largely greys, whites and blacks for her blockhouse like concrete structures, she juxtaposes the blank surfaces of her buildings with the glorious colours and swirls of rose-tinted skies. Strong diagonal lines and faceless architectural shapes evoke a strong sense of alienation, of un-enterable spaces.

The artist has, however, found beauty in the stark harsh lines of the Eastern bloc style of architecture she depicts – for the viewer as much in the contrast with the natural world in which they so stolidly sit. The simplicity, neutral colours and unadorned shapes of the built world contrast with the glorious wildness of the natural.

For me, the somewhat Orwellian atmosphere of these massive blockhouses is unsettling, Kafkaesque, and the colour that bursts through in places thus endows a humanising comfort.

The artist’s technique is painstaking, time-consuming and deliberate. Smaller works in the exhibition provide both a different more playful feel and a way of using up scrap materials, a nod to sustainability. Janet Angus demonstrates mathematical prowess and a practised capacity to create a strong sense of three-dimensionality with the clever placement of quite thin layers of timber and the deft use of diagonal lines and paint.

All work is for sale. The larger pieces would make forceful statements in the high spaces of a contemporary office block or apartment foyer. I hope they find their way there.

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