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Carmen Houliston now exhibiting as Carmen Ky.
1978 - 1988

This decade saw many changes in my work, life and ideas. It includes exploration of new mediums, mixed media, a renewed interest in finely detailed drawing and a dynamic return to printmaking.

My youngest daughter started school, I returned to Uni for graduate studies in Printmedia, my 2nd Marriage ended. I did still photography on documentaries, started working on book publications, was introduced to Aboriginal Australia and started traveling again, including the first of many journeys into the desert.

1984: Artists Statement.

Ten years have passed since my last exhibition at Bonython's Gallery, Sydney in 1974. During that time I've changed and my studies led in various directions - so too has my worked evolved.

My paintings are now perhaps less symbolic. No longer are they detached floating forms in glowing spaces' worked as a refined surface through spraying softly graduated colour on shaped canvases. Nor the next stage of being 'the essence of gesture' - as a glowing rhythm in space - once again finished as a controlled sprayed surface. Over the last couple of years my work has moved away from stained, then sprayed canvas with its smooth surface - to a more painterly approach.

This current work is a place where many worlds meet. I am primarily concerned with energy. The inherent energy of forms in nature, the underlying structures and rhythms of growth and movement.

The Taoist concept of the universe as a seamless web of unbroken movement and change that never stops, never turns back on itself. Like steaming clouds, the objects and facts of our world are simply shapes and phases which last long enough in one general form for us to consider as units. Concepts are ripples in the mental stream. Each human being is woven out of a complex system of totally mobile interactions with his/her environment. Body is in perpetual change.

Also, the concept of Tao as an immense web consisting of rolling change which does not itself change; the great whole of continuous duration; infinite space and infinite change. These concepts feed my imagination.

Landscape art in China summarizes symbolically the whole moving Tao, with 'dragon veins' - the vital energy, running in all directions.

My art evokes a vitality, the unexpected, the consistency of nature, and deep rhythms.

1988 : Artists Statement

These etchings and drawings are primarily concerned with energy. The underlying structures and rhythms inherent in nature, the spirit of place.
Certain images re-occur, which for me are evocative, symbolic and universal.

The Serpent I use as an evocative image in its own right, and because it has meaning throughout many cultures and religions. For me it symbolizes vital energy.
The Sea, rhythms of water, the egg, symbolize beginnings, fertilization, the constant rhythm of life.
The Desert, is for me a solar power place that recharges the soul. Its immense space and quietness intensify unity.

Both being by the sea or in the desert provide me with an extended sense of space and timelessness - that is totally pervasive - and internal and external space are harmonized. Such is the power of these places that meditative states happen spontaneously.

There is a harmonic balance that exists for me between the blue/greens of my island home in Pittwater and the orange/reds of the Central Desert. Watching the colours and light change in the desert is pure joy; as is experiencing the serenity of a sunset by the sea.

The Australian landscape is diverse, powerful and sacred. An Aboriginal friend Burnum Burnum said, "Europe has its Cathedrals, but Australia is one vast place of worship."

These works were inspired by travel of the vast internal and external space.

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