Surface Ginny Sykes Recent Work
“Jed Fielding and Ginny Sykes have had a deep and long-standing friendship for more than thirty years. They have shared a common passion for the photography of Aaron Siskind (with whom Fielding studied extensively, and formed a close relationship with until Siskind’s death in 1991), as well as for world travel with a particular emphasis on Italy. Sykes’ work utilizes a wide variety of media and approaches, while Fielding’s photographs articulate a very specific aesthetic and concern.
Despite the apparent disjunction of these two close friends’ work, there is a shared facility for abstraction, formal composition, and, foremost, a passion for pushing the viewer to look at what is before them. There may be occasional overlap, such as when Fielding’s photographs of walls’ surfaces echo Sykes’ painterly abstraction, or when her dance-like gesture of primal forms hints at his photographs of trees, but this is most likely incidental, the result of their shared aesthetic and way of looking at the world.”
Sykes’ most powerful works create a dialectic tension between chaos and order, abstraction and representation, and at times between temporal immediacy and fading memories. Drawings whose intense sense of motion hints at a bodily presence become a kind of Sufi dance of energy. Ambiguous figure/ground relationships often push gestural abstraction towards representation and imagery, which is sometimes bolstered by collaged real world artifacts. Memory and the associational poetry of image are never far behind in these abstractions. Occasionally the artist utilizes symbolic archetypes as focused imagery that hints at spiritual content, whether it is a graceful dance of opposites, a mask-like persona, or blob-like forms that seem like psychic entities. At times Sykes will transform background details or marginalia of her previous work into the starring attraction of a newer work. In addition, her layering of meaning and memory, as well as her varied approach to balancing illusion making with the flat “is-ness” of mark-making and gestural painting all keep the viewer involved with the very process of looking."