Louise McRae’s work represents a beautiful collision between the detritus of a rural landscape, deconstructed representation and abstract formalism. McRae collects scrap macrocarpa timber upon which she paints loose land, sky and seascapes. She then splits these scenes into shards and, with a keen feeling for form, space and placement, re-assembles the shards into panels of varying shapes and formats. This re-configuration of shattered images carries associations of change or flux and evokes a strange sense of space, with multiple vanishing or entry points from which all movement radiates.
McRae’s process is also a reference to the distortions and unconventional perspectives of cubism and its associated investigations into the representation of time, space and motion; the use of found and recycled materials harking back to cubist sculpture and collage.
The careful modulation of colour and surface across McRae’s panels is captivating, its effect akin to the perceptual experience of optical art. This experiential aspect is also key to uncovering the spirituality in McRae’s work and her strong connections to place. Each piece speaks fluently of both the scene it derived from and of the sheer physical work involved in its construction. Additionally, the generous dimensions and unconstrained edges of the works suggest the endless landscapes of her coastal environs.