Miranda Boulton and Jane Pryor

curator Jane Boyer #  poet Kaddy Benyon

JUNE 2019

Miranda boulton


 After M.

(detail) 2018


 oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm

Miranda boulton


Silver Streak

(detail) 2018


oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

Jane Pryor


I’m on your side

(detail) 2019


 oil on canvas, 35 x 30 cm

Jane Pryor


(slow down) you move too fast 1,

(detail) 2019


acrylic and marker pen on canvas,

with collage, 70 x 60 cm

Double Time is about two friends, one studio, and the deep communications that come from sharing time and space.


Through years of visits to each other’s studios, and now sharing a creative space, Miranda Boulton and Jane Pryor have developed a visual simpatico. They have very different processes, but there is a compelling resonance to their work. Double Time explores the gap where these vibrations merge; that is, the space between studio sessions, layers, gestures and marks. Crucially, it uncovers the place where looking, thinking and remembering unite.


Miranda paints in an all-over style, but generally there is a central knot of activity that makes for a focal point in her paintings. Jane on the other hand is concerned with edges and motifs that are ‘moving’ out of frame, leaving large gaps in her visual planes. This is where the dissimilarities end, and converge into unexpected syncopated rhythms.


Both artists are deeply engaged with recursion and “the space between” which leaves a trace of unseen locations and activities. Miranda sources floral imagery on-line before going to bed, then starts to construct her paintings from memory the next day. The first layer is an emotional one, meaning it is generated by the way Miranda is feeling at the time of engaging with the canvas. But, she says, her process is ‘archaeological,’ in that “the first layer is as important as the final one” (Boulton and Pryor, 2019). Wanting the history of a painting to be visible through its layers, Miranda borrows the idea that “each and every painting is a time battery” from art critic and historian David Joselit (2016:11), when she describes her works as bundles of speed and energy waiting to be tapped by the viewer. Through these ideas, the layers ultimately take on their own narrative of construction leaving the memory far behind.


Jane dives into the fluidity of time, not a chronological progression, but the fragments of possibility in an elastic space of contemplation where ideas jostle and sidle up to one another. She sees her process as an improvisation of borrowed ideas and breathable space (Boulton and Pryor, 2019). Jane is intrigued by the notion of Chronos and Kair∂s. These concepts of time “refer to time’s flow and the timely event—Chronos being synonymous with sequential time, and Kair∂s, what the ancient Greeks thought of as the opportune moment…” (Ryan and Harland, 2018:9).


Integral to these two approaches is the double time of moving between locations: Miranda who moves from sleep to waking memory, and Jane who carries ideas between working at home and working in the studio. There is a billowing expansion of time, in terms of the time captured in the marks composing the works, as an extension of the thinking that takes place between these spaces and creative events; and also, the time solicited from the viewer to engage with looking. Colour takes on the characteristics of time, as movement; with speed and gesture evident in their formal aspects.


Kaddy Benyon’s (2019c) poetry captures an essence of these ideas when she muses on wanting to start living “as part of a system that isn’t visible; without reference to anything else; having no notion of a present that is always and precisely now; where all is mutable and nothing is fixed.” But Kaddy gets at something deeper than invisible systems and a constant state of now—Kaddy expresses through her poetry how past forms now, and now flips back around to become its own past: “You lean in close to trace the gesture…as it contracts back” forming a succession of nows, each overlaying the last (Benyon, 2019b and a).


Because there is movement, temporality and transience, and this notion of an opportune moment which dissects linear time, Miranda and Jane’s paintings speak to each other with an energetic engagement. They sit together like friends comfortable in each other’s presence, which means they are also able to withstand the silence that naturally punctuates a lively discussion. They don’t overwhelm the other’s personality; they are two individuals secure in themselves, sharing a similar view on the world, but who fascinate each other with their different observations of the world they see.

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