Corinne Costello

In 2005 Corinne graduated with honours in printmaking from the University of Tasmania. In September 2008 she completed a post graduate oil painting course of old masters techniques at The Charlie Sheard Studio School in Sydney. Her mastery of these techniques amplifies the vision of abstraction she brings to the canvas. The results are mysterious and joyful as the artist’s intuitive response to the medium of oil on linen allows the works to reach a spiritual conclusion. The paintings have their own internal dialogue and offer the observer an endless narrative.  For Corinne, painting is a creative state of being present to the medium which is paint and linen and present to the act of painting through touch. – Kate Kennedy White, Curator and Art Writer, Sydney

Poetica 2019

From the traditional background of Old Masters’ painting techniques this new body of work brings a distinctly eastern perspective. A combination of acrylic and ink underpainting allows a calligraphic freedom which is then completed in oil paint and interference pigments to add luminosity and form.

Inspired by those such as travelling poets, who have ever climbed a mountain and spoken their words into the wind, the paintings have become a more personal exploration for the artist. The line becomes an abstracted code to experience her ongoing interest in the dichotomy of form and formlessness, of space and the void.

‘In Eastern philosophy the void is sometimes called potential space rather than negative space. In these paintings the process for me becomes a meditation into a place of endless possibility, of infinity.’

The Winter Dragon

KURAOKAMI the Winter Dragon is the Japanese Shinto deity of rain and snow.

In mythology Izanagi and Izanami, siblings of the Winter Dragon, gave birth to the islands and gods of Japan.

This work is based on my recent travels to Japan and continued interest in oil painting, as an exploration of the aesthetics of pictorial and psychological space, from an Eastern perspective.

Finding inspiration in the mythological story of the Winter Dragon and the Floating World of Edo Japan, my work traverses between figuration and abstraction. The painting constantly changes between form and formless, between the familiar and unfamiliar. I strive for a painting that has a sense of the mysterious, organically hovering and dissolving over the surface of the canvas.

My attraction to oil painting lies in the nature of the paint itself. The addition of oil enhances the unique properties of each paint pigment creating rich contrasts and optical complexity. The application of alternating layers of transparent and opaque paint creates work that constantly fluctuates between the static and ephemeral, the illusion of depth is created with subtle cool and warm colour contrasts.

My interpretation of The Edo period, 1615- 1868, is an imagined universe of extravagance, hedonism and transgression. In contrast to the polite manner and everyday obligation of the Japanese society, Edo was a period of imagination and rich sensory pleasures. Overtones of beauty and colour were entwined with the Kabuki theatres and red light districts. A place where imagination ruled and the seasons could co-exist simultaneously, concealing yet revealing.

Hommage to Poets

A UNESCO world heritage site, the stunning peaks of Huangshan, shaped by Quaternary Glaciation 100 million years ago, are world famous. Its former name Yishan, Mount Yi, was changed in the Qin Dynasty in 747 AD to Mount Huang thought to be in honour of the mythic Huang Di or Yellow Emperor. He was the mythological Ancestor of the Han Chinese who in one legend ascended to Heaven from Huangshan. The first use of the name Huangshan is also associated with the poet Li Bai who was no doubt captivated by the beauty of the mountainous scenery. Besides the granite peaks and pine trees the site is mystical in that the mist and clouds appear to touch the mountain peaks more than 200 days a year. Huangshan has inspired much poetry and art, especially Chinese ink painting.

At the Shanghai Museum I found a collection of ink paintings by Wang Yuanqi, 1642-1715. Also know by his literary name Lutai, Shishi Daoren. He was one of the ‘Six Masters of the Early Quing’ adept at landscape painting often inspired by Huangshan. Centuries ago when poets and artists were capturing their ideas on paper it is easy to imagine that at Huangshan they were truly at the point of the sublime where man, earth and Heaven meet. –  Corinne Costello, July 2015

Aphrodite Pink

Painting, in oil or ink, is circular in nature. Always simple at the beginning of the journey, brush, support and medium, the more one learns the more complex it appears to become. However as technique improves painting becomes second nature and more focus shifts to the artists’ intent. Until eventually the painting reflects the emotion of the painter and there is no dichotomy of content and form.