Lucila Zentner: Remembered Innocence


While careers in both medicine and art might seem like an unlikely coupling, Lucila Zentner makes it work. Her analytical eye for detail translates onto the canvas as she builds images with meticulous layers of colour.

The Sydney-based artist paints through a child-like gaze that is broad and wide-ranging – it sways from sharp and direct, to whimsical and playful. Using a Renaissance portraiture style as her inspiration she evokes remembrance within the viewer of their own childhood but also of a shared and universal social history. Yet Lucila ultimately leaves the viewer to create their own meaning and memory.

“Inspiration is a state of being, part of the disquiet of being alive,” the artist says. “I struggle to contain a sense of restlessness if I do not have the chance to paint out an idea that is taking form. Inspiration feels like the yearning of love before its resolution into calm contentment.”

The resulting work is infused with a beautifully childlike view of the world. She depicts her garden, flowers, fruit and vases from first glance, in their simplest yet most effervescent form. Bold, bright colours with short strokes produce energetic works that enliven the emotive journey of growing up.

“I paint the colours of emotions, both real and imagined shadows. I paint my farm, I paint my history, I paint a story of life for my children,” she says. “I am very drawn to scenes of homely content; to gestures of love and frailty and evanescent moments of growing up.”

Lucila was awarded the 2019/20 AGES Society art prize. You can see her latest works at Purple Noon Gallery, Freemans Reach from 3 October 2020 and prints are available through her website.

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