Berit Myrebøe, ‘U.T. (self-portrait)’, 2008, Transfer on Aluminium, Painting, 100 x 180cm
BERIT MYREBOEE: 'Facing South'
June 19 - July 26, 2008
When the Berlin-based Norwegian artist Berit Myreboee (b. 1968) first came to Sydney in 2007, she never expected to find a coastline "completely similar" to that of her Scandinavian homeland. Myreboee was intrigued by the two countries' parallels. "Both countries are as far as possible away from each other and equidistant from the Poles," she says. "In proportion to their respective surface areas, they are both sparsely populated and similarly determined by open spaces, by huge distances and the threat of becoming lost."
Over her first summer in Australia, Myreboee (b. 1968) not only showed her Norwegian work in the exhibition Facing North - she also started work on this companion exhibition, Facing South. She took her camera to the coast, finding herself drawn to Tamarama beach. There she trained her camera on the strangely familiar rock formations and how they looked in our hard, white light, which was so different to the soft light that infuses Norwegian landscapes.
This intense image-gathering was just the start of Myreboee creating her coolly alluring work on polished aluminium panels. Myreboee returned to Sydney for another residency early this year to manipulate her images. She blows up her photographs on a photocopier and transfers these grainy enlargements onto aluminium using a self-developed process. She builds up layer upon layer of images on her panels - a single panel could contain elements from 10 or 20 different photographs.
Yet Myreboee also deconstructs images as she builds them up, erasing one bit here, blurring another bit there and repeating motifs and images. As much as her images might "look like beauty, I'm also destroying beauty in my work," she says. "In the transfer and painting process, I'm changing and taking away a lot of things." Finally Myreboee, who calls herself a painter above all else, works an intense palette of blues and greens - the colour of the sea - onto the panels with brushes but also sometimes with her hands. "I like the feeling of working with my hands on the metal," she says. "You can sometimes even see my hand prints." She became drawn to metal panels, she says, while studying printing techniques together with the American pop artist Jim Dine. "I was always much more impressed by the metal sheets before printing," she says.
Perhaps that explains why she likes to leave part of each panel untouched. While Myreboee's finished work is ethereal, mysterious and otherworldly, with her rock formations, ocean edges and human faces and bodies transformed into something almost dream-like, an even stranger thing happens when viewers stand before her work.
Berit Myreboee's work is shown at thirtyseven degrees - Contemporary Fine Art Gallery. To interview Berit Myreboee or to for high resolution images, please contact: Dominik Mersch: Director thirtyseven degrees - Contemporary Fine Art Gallery Gallery: 02 9698 4499 Mobile: 0423 300 802, firstname.lastname@example.org / 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, 2017, Tue-Sat 11am - 6pm
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