SALON NINETY ONE CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTION
IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS
Working exclusively with watercolour monotypes, Moir’s unconventional approach to printmaking explores and reconstitutes the limitations of traditional monotype techniques. Moir’s large works are the result of the intensely physical and unpredictable process of printing with a manual pitch roller. She says of her method: “The challenges within my process create space for the works to acquire greater meaning and be more successful than if it were predictable and easily controlled”. Original paintings are impressed onto calico, creating a confluence of painting and print. Gashes, strips of folded fabric and uneven printed surfaces serve as visual cues of the presence of Moir’s body in her process. These marks, made in collaboration with the medium, echo a sentiment from the show’s eponymous text in which the author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki asserts that “the quality we call beauty must always derive from the realities of life”.
While the title In Praise of Shadows links the show to Tanizaki’s ruminations on materiality, space and architecture, it is also an acknowledgement of anonymous figures that carve out their lives on the periphery. The “woman of old” - depicted in Tanizaki’s text as existing so deep within the shadows of the home that she is “inseparable from darkness”- becomes a particular point of focus, as Moir moves this ambiguous figure to the centre of her work. The show’s titles are drawn from descriptions of this character as well as fictionalised impressions of her. In this way, Moir subverts Tanizaki’s text by reassigning the authorial voice; presenting a body of work made from this fleetingly mentioned figure’s point of view.
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