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Essay about the work by Jo Bertini
The paintings in this series are the result of a particular way of seeing the world. They are at once universally identifiable and singularly idiosyncratic. Those landscapes and figures, those Australian coastal scenes which are so familiar to us have become transformed by a certain artistic glance, an instant in the creative mind which is capable of capturing not only the light, the colours, the forms and sense of place and people, the entirety of the scene, but also too the particulars. The particulars, those elements which the artist sees, chooses to describe and the way in which they are captured, these are the most fascinating results of Tannya's labour. They are paintings with an artistically motivated honesty, an expertise of distillation whose dexterity reaches directly to the essence.For Tannya it is the enigmatic quality of painting that the artist is interested in. The way she works is instinctive, it is her way of making art not from a formulated process of ‘step by step’ product creation. Rather Tannya follows her eye. She allows her hand to be directed immediately by her perception and the results are assessed after the act of creation. For any artist it requires not only skill of technique and mastery of paint manipulation but also a certain leap faith and reckless liberation. This way of approaching a subject with unconditional trust, a ‘ feeling ones way in the dark ’, is the hardest artistic way but the truest. The work retains something of the immediacy of the initial response, a freshness of seeing, the exploratory sense of the creator. This process also allows us an insight into the artists’ choices, what she chooses to reveal. Any artist retains the right to close her eyes to certain things and to choose to see only that which interests her. Tannya reveals through her paintings only those selected things which are of real insight and interest.The importance of these paintings lies not only in what and how Tannya sees but also in what the spectator sees, what is revealed by their looking. The artist through her painting becomes a conduit for human feeling and a shared human experience. Tannya's paintings act as a kind of shared or common understanding for what the spectator recognises, or sees of themselves in the work. There is a mutual trust, a recognition yet with the gift of another dimension, an ’others’ perception.There is gratitude we owe to Tannya’s process and paintings. Their candid nature which reveals so much of the artist herself simultaneously humanises us. The honesty and richness of her painterly language, the sense of inherent knowledge and affection she has for her subject, but most fundamentally the skill and immediacy with which she has captured those moments, fleeting, transitory, ephemeral, the brief experiences of a certain time and place in human life which she has now recorded for our revisiting.