In the 1990s, when Susan Wald was fresh out of art school in the 1990s, she took her sketchbook into the theatre rehearsal room, where she watched the young Melbourne director Barrie Kosky at work.
Kosky was developing a raucous and visceral epic called The Exile Trilogy (1993). Wald witnessed his fiery process, sketching as the director elicited elemental performances from his actors. Two decades later, Wald was back in the acting studio, this time sketching actors preparing for a dark and bloody production of Sophocles’ play Elektra (2010), directed by another risk-taker, Adena Jacobs. Wald’s new exhibition, Theatre Paintings and Monoprints, is the result of this twenty-year project. It features many small paintings, some moody monoprints and eight large paintings of solitary figures, who seem to be fashioned out of raw, sensory experience.
As Wald explains, she seeks ‘to make concrete the elusive essence of emotion, form, and space.’ Michael talks to the artist and to Adena Jacobs about the works and the theatrical experiences which have inspired them. The exhibition runs at the Langford 120 gallery until 10 October 2015.
You can find the Audio Interview here.