Marilyn Middlemiss

Marilyn’s work over the last ten years has mainly been preoccupied with the notion of connections, either the inter-personal relationships which can be passionate, dramatic and tragic, or broader environmental issues. Her work appears abstract but tackles universal concepts that can be read on many levels. The work by contrast is often played down, muted and aesthetised leaving the reader with work to do. Her belief is that absence is often more powerful than it’s opposite can be poetic.

She uses both painting and sound as her language with the situation involving a memory, impressions and presence. Landscape and place are also relevant to the work as can sometimes be ascertained from the colour used, described as a colourist and formally a flat plain in a true modernist sense but always with the base of an idea which she is exploring.

More recently figurative elements have crept into the work. Using the symbol of the olive branch to represent the living earth, influenced by Paula Modersohn Becker (1876-1907) in her paintings about her need for a child, that tragically ended in her death at childbirth, these works are an exploration of fertility, fecundity with reference to the personal and the universal as the planet is becoming less fertile as we continue to destroy natural systems, as humans are becoming less fertile because of the way we live.

It is perhaps these universal concepts dealt with in a subtle and beautiful way that many describe as calming which hold the appeal of Marilyn’s work. The work is not loud or brash in dealing with the subject matter but explored in a quiet human way.