Rachel Fairfax on the Toy paintings
Prior to the birth of my son the changes to my creative practice started to evolve. These changes were mainly in the form of metaphor and new subject matter explored via drawing and painting.
Through the early days of hoping for a child and planning this life change I became interested in the subject of Toys. At that time there was a beautiful exhibition of Vintage Toys showing at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney where I went to make some drawings.
For a few years it was quite a trepidatious time for my partner and I, living in a confusing space of not knowing whether I was able to bear a child or not. The Toy drawings kept evolving and became a way of trying to Let Go of the possibility of becoming a mother after a few sad losses. Happily however, as the Toy drawings kept developing, so did the promising news that my next pregnancy was strong, healthy and likely to keep growing to full term.
My practice always begins with drawing; I simply start with drawings that transform into the paintings as the creative process unfolds.
The shapes, forms and structures of the Toys were interesting to capture in drawings. The colours that ensued in the paintings were mostly made up and came from memory of my own childhood combined with the happy news that a baby boy was coming into our lives. Memories of bright green grass and clear blue skies from my own childhood of growing up in the country and spending countless days outdoors riding bicycles mixed with the greys that I love to work with intuitively came into the palette of the Toy paintings.
The new Toy paintings in this exhibition were painted during my pregnancy through the 9 months of anticipation, growing hope, constant nausea and busy preparation for this new and precious life coming into our lives.
Since the birth of my son Xavier in January this year I have been making some new drawings while I am at home with him, so tiny and young. Amidst the mess of a studio at home, unpredictable time and plethora of emotions that come with a new baby, I am interested in the potential of new paintings that will surely eventuate from this precious time and seemingly fragile yet essential drawing practice.
Rachel Fairfax, July 2016