Featuring all new painted works on stretched silk, Ward continues to employ transparency and colour to investigate the space beyond the canvas, and the territory between sculpture and painting, figurativism and abstraction.
In this new series, Ward explores variations of the silhouette by overlapping geometric shapes to create works that at first appear abstract, but retain figurative elements and qualities.
Inspired by vase forms, Ward airbrushes silk organza through a precise process of layering and masking. The result is suggestive in its structure; for the contours of a vase, when abstracted, may appear to be the outline of a figure. These ambiguous gestures remain open to investigation and interpretation. The translucency of paint and material enhance the illusionistic space within the works. This transparency reveals the custom frames that were designed to synthesize with the images on the surface, establishing an architectural marriage between image and support.
Ward’s artworks reveal and obscure, and by their nature, entice viewers to closely investigate contrasts in line and material, modulations in color, and multi-dimensional layers. Flat paint at first appears to be a two-dimensional wall work but depth created between surface and frame suggest a sculptural configuration. The resulting luminosity invites viewers to walk completely around the large scale works to experience these subtle shifts in colour.
Recent trips to New Mexico and the pottery she encountered there piqued Wards’ interest in the vase form because it is at once ubiquitous and commonplace, while simultaneously containing female and cultural histories. She was further inspired by Venetian glass making, particularly Carlo Scarpa and Ettore Sottsass, both of whom were architects in addition to designers. Drawing inspiration from Minamalism, hard-edge painting and Arte Povera, materiality and process are central to Ward’s practice and these new works continue to advance the key themes to her remarkable oeuvre.