Rachel Gallagher

There are places where our desires want to journey; places where we can let our imagination run free, feed our dreams, and arouse our curiosity. Such places excite us and help us to travel beyond the commotion of the everyday.

It can be difficult to find these destinations, and having found them the return journey is not always clear. At times our memories are clogged with debris, we remember the pleasure of shifted consciousness but find the location hard to grasp.

The first pleasure when encountering these works is to relish the colour, the paint, the texture, and the composition - indeed to delight in the work and its life force. This delight is both rewarding and fulfilling. The paint is applied in deep glazes, there are swift brush stokes and the push and rub of the finger against the paint is self-evident. The reality of the painting is satisfying, it is physical, almost tangible yet just beyond our reach. The optical effect of the saturated colour - the salmon and tangerine oranges, the thick creams and the inky blues that are the colour of starlit nights - is the visual path that leads the narrative, taking us to the psychological territory of the paintings.

Often the paint is scraped off, returning to the source of the painting; its destination is constantly reassessed until finally the work moves beyond the practicalities of fabrication. Construction, destruction, and further invention, - the process must continue until there is a painted destination towards which we are invited to travel.

Beyond the sensory there are other delights. Through the colour one is drawn across the edge of experience towards a location - a seascape or landscape or perhaps a piece of architecture, ambiguously painted and always taking us to a world that is just beyond our reach. Many of the paintings suggest a calm and idyllic place, while in others there is restlessness and animation. As these painted destinations arrive reality slips and slides, but always the visual leads the narrative.

These imaginary places are recognisable through visual clues, the descriptive elements of the painting and the richly suggestive colour. Yet they are not places that we can identify exactly, only identify with, through our own imagination and experiences. They are however places that we can visit and revisit over and over again each time returning with a new sense of discovery.