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Nocturnal Landscapes, Camilla Tadich

BY Rachel Weinberg | 08-Dec-2018
Painter Camilla Tadich in her upcoming exhibition at MARS Gallery will bring neglected, nocturnal corners of the world into light. #MARSGallery @MARSGallery
Nocturnal Landscapes - Camilla Tadich
Melbourne born artist Camilla Tadich has long been interested in dark atmospheric states and macabre landscapes. Tadich produces works that eloquently unites stygian blackness with an underlying disquiet of the Australian psyche. Her paintings are individual episodes of time, replete with implied narratives that all premise to end badly.

In 2006, Tadich graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since then, she has devoted her creative practice to capturing the haunting images of the Australian landscape by night. Her recent exhibition Remnants (2016) at MARS Gallery comprised of luminous telephone booths, piercing possum eyes and eerie bus stops that revealed the disquieting characteristics of uninhibited nature. In all her work, there is a dark vein of humor that filters through. For instance, her upcoming exhibition Missing at MARS Gallery, sees the undisturbed dimness of the Australian bush resurface. Tadich explains, “The muted colours of the eucalyptus forest crackles underfoot, echoing of gunshots and a distant yelp of an unknown animal…traces of the known seem to reassure in such darkness”. In paradoxical fascination, the paintings induce fear and uncertainty. “Although traces of the known seem reassuring, they also cast a disquieting presence”, explains Tadich.

The series Missing speaks to the binaries of celebration and mystery within a local landscape; the resulting tension can leave us unsure and unsettled. By analogy, Tadich connects both death and festivity with the deep night. See for instance, her work Pobblebonk where a vivid green frog balloon hauntingly floats on a dam. The solid black background suggests a reproduction of the effect of flash photography, whilst simultaneously denies the illusionistic depth of painting. Looking back at you, the balloon becomes a marker of a moment of disruption and obscurity. Only the hint of reflection tells us that the water is not a boundless void; her narrative is ambiguous but our thoughts are endless.

Scavenging through the bush on nocturnal excursions, artist Tony Lloyd reflects, “Tadich discovers the neglected corners of the world, where entropy goes unchecked”. Tadich’s process is simple yet meticulous, as she documents the landscape, through photography, and all the memories embedded within it. In this way, Tadich searches for the perfect composition of piercing light and harrowing dark. Tadich explains “We stumble into this darkness without invitation, a world where familiar objects beckon and yet prey upon us with a sense of foreboding dread”. Her refined paintings can be “humorous, melancholy and menacing, often all at the same time” explains Lloyd.

Camilla Tadich has won numerous awards, including a People’s Choice Award, and has featured in various solo and group exhibitions. As a finalist for the Nillumbik Art Prize, Bayside Acquisitive and the Fleurieau landscape prize, Tadich has continuously proven her practise to be distinctively extraordinary. Tadich’s current body of works Missing shows at MARS Gallery until 20 December.