Showcase: Tessa Skerman

Erin Irwin takes a closer look at these outstanding works.

The work: Tessa Skerman, Winter Winds, 2022. Oil and mixed media on board, 110 x 100cm. Courtesy: the artist.

New Zealand-based artist Tessa Skerman lives in a rural part of the North Island near Raglan, an area of wild landscapes and sometimes harsh weather. Often inspired by her surroundings, the artist has sought to capture the intensity of the blustery winter months in Winter Winds. To do this, the artist uses a personal technique she has dubbed “paint, slice, and re-create”, wherein she takes a partially completed work and cuts it into pieces she calls “slats”. Skerman then reassembles these slivers of scenery, composing a new vista according to affinities of line, angle and form. The resulting work oscillates at its edges, leading the eye on a staccato journey across the scene. One can almost hear the branches of the trees crashing into one another as they are buffeted by the squall, and see the soft grasses swaying with the onslaught. The limited palette of greens, blues and browns mirrors the soft, dim light of winter, the rays of sun just catching the grass in slivers of metallic silver. Oil paints are perfect for this scene, giving solidity to the winding foliage that emphasises the power of the wind. Through a unique and personalised approach to composition the artist is able to immerse her audience in the intensely beautiful environment she calls home.

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