Beth Radford

Sydney, Australia

I have always been curious about the relationship between order and beauty. The natural world is intricately ordered, full of pattern and progression, symmetry and sequence, repetition and replication. Yet it is also chaotic and unpredictable due to the incalculable number of influences and interactions that affect existence. My paintings always begin with a highly structured pattern that is then modified by colour according to my own personal influences at the time.

In approaching my work I first devise simple systematic strategies in order to create a geometric framework that, although conceptually simple, appears complicated and intriguing. Inventing these systems is an intellectual challenge and requires a methodical approach to trying different permutations and variations. I then experiment with colour. The colouring process is instinctive and exciting. Even within the confines of the grid the possibilities are overwhelming. I tend towards patterns in my colouring, but often I will apply techniques of chance or even include mistakes. Colouring adds joy and surprise, intention and accident to what would otherwise be highly ordered and predictable constructions.

Although I want to invite intellectual involvement in my work—for the viewer to puzzle over the composition and construction, to question the relationship between shapes and the interactions of the colours—these works are not only conceptual, they are emotional and personal. They are influenced by factors deliberate and unconscious, by what I feel and the things I have been looking at. I love making them, the process of painting, of seeing the idea come into existence, the inevitable imperfections, the way the colours make me feel.

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