Acrylic on Panel (2020)
40.5cm x 28cm x 5cm
More about Molly Thomson
Painting is a process of construction, reconfiguration, application, observation and assessment for Molly Thomson. It is a process she repeats until the point is reached when each individual painting achieves a balance between its painted surface and object presence. That point of balance is as individual as each painting, although on the face of it these are monochromatic paintings. A single carefully chosen colour creates a lush colour field. However, there is a surgical precision at work here.
Thomson cuts away material at the edges of her wooden panels. She slices through the substrate, shifting their presence on the wall from squared off regularity, toward being a one-off star of the show. The act of each cut lends a quiet ruthlessness to her paintings, registering a sharpening of intent. Once the form of the panel has been arrived at, Thomson applies tape to its edge to form a temporary barrier that she fills with liquid paint so that when dry, the surface maintains a pristine finish. This process is repeated for as many times as is deemed necessary, until the tape is removed revealing the chromatic layering that has built up over time.
Her colour choices are particular. They seem steeped in memory, often triggering deep-set associations for the viewer of long forgotten favourite things like a leather jacket, a much loved car, a piece of Tupperware, a bar of soap or some kitchen cabinets. The shape of the panel underscores the direction that the memory travels.
Thomson works serially on many panels at the same time, often linking ones that work together to create a diptych or drilling a hole or series of holes in the surface for the liquid paint to drain away, allowing the layer of colour underneath to show through the most recently applied layer of paint on top. These are subtle changes, yet they have an impact. Thomson works within these quite strict limits that she sets for herself and then pushes against those rules to produce hard won moments of colourful, calming, collected joy.