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NOIR: OCTOBER 2022 | BEHIND THE COLLECTION

Noir : October 2022

An idea that began dramatic and seemingly urgent in November last year, brought itself together in a less dramatic and frighteningly casual way. The process of Noir: October 2022, felt as though it led itself throughout the winter months just gone. It doesn’t matter sometimes how well organised or planned out I am with a collection, the pieces always come in their own time. I feel like this collection sprouted from my own mood and development since the idea’s conception last year, as well as through the influences around me. 

While I’m a silver lining girl, I know the deeper, darker lines running along side are what make our rich, shimmering silvers so much brighter. 

What I and those close to me have referred to as “noir” over the past almost twelve months, has been a concept I began thinking on after releasing my Spring 2021 collection. Spring 2021 was a jubilant and whimsical collection of work, very soft and very bright simultaneously and ultimately from my gaze, uplifting. It was as I began packing and sending these pieces to their collectors that I started thinking of the people I hope for my art to resonate with and I realised that I might not be leaning toward the spirits that respond to a little contrast. I thought on the people who are inspired by the light, bright but also people who are soothed by depth and darkness. 

Being an artist is selfish and I can understand why I initially leant toward more uplifting palettes, honestly I imagine it was because I couldn’t quite reflect on darkness in my first year of painting professionally because it was quite frequently a total nightmare. I didn’t have a moment to reflect on my deeper emotions and considerations, because I didn’t think it would be a terribly fruitful idea. Fortunately I felt my way through the murkiness and what a wonderful place my paintings had in letting me do that, while remaining positive and happy. The pieces I created early on were and are joyous and they are entirely crucial to me. There’s something to be said for the beauty of surface level pleasure and I like to keep it close by always. 

Very fortunately, in 2022 I was able to subdue the desire for surface level brightness and feel my way beneath the sparkly surface. My favourite thing about art is that you never know which piece will land with someone. I know that the best relationship with an artwork is the one you aren’t expecting but the ones that are harnessed by a particular colour, pattern, composition— right down to the moment in time that it will catch your eye— all of these factors are magnificently built into the marvel a viewer will have for a creation. How grateful I am that I can be a part of this magic in someones life. 

I know that Noir: October 2022 will create magic and I know she has been created for her unique sister— mostly I know she’ll be adored, she’ll help with inner reflections and outward affections, she will celebrate and reassure and as an original work, the spirit I have given her will change along with you in your lifetime together. 

In funny news, the name of the collection was always a mere reference point for the darker toned pieces I hoped to create and was by NO MEANS the actual name because it couldn’t be more of a cliche. Black-accented paintings; French is cool; Noir! My high school art teacher’s eyes would roll because he always teased me for being cliché (definitely not in a good way). But as I’ve consistently attempted to flick that chip from my shoulder, I’m quite convinced cliche’s aren’t so bad after all. Noir unravelled throughout the year, quickly then slowly, then frantically and back to a calm extension of lines, and after many noir oriented conversations I could hardly refer to it as anything else. 

They're all stars and they all have a story.

Hold my feet, babe 03 is our glorious first piece to mark the conception of Noir. A bold, commanding beauty who took me somewhere I couldn’t have imagined going — my favourite kind of beauty. This piece had been with me through the later months of 2021 but in a much different form. In the quieter few days before Christmas I took her from her wall and painted aimlessly until I painted with a magnificent subconscious clarity. I still don’t know exactly how she came about, which is why she is the only piece from the Noir collection to be recreated into a limited-edition giclée canvas print. I want more people to be able to celebrate her.

Who’s this for? I usually think the process of a painting is reflected in the collector — if you don’t think I wonder about each piece and you, you’re wrong, I think on it all the time and it makes me comfy. This piece was initially all green, safer tones for a time of hopeful safety for me as I was still so early in my career. Some people would adore her when they saw but I knew she wasn’t quite who she needed to be, I never felt contented by her presence as perfectly pleasant it was looking over me in my old studio. Maybe what gave me the moxy to finally take her off the wall and work further with this piece, was the all important timing. I had just finished up the November / December period which was the most incredibly rewarding and successful time I’d had to date. Maybe I was feeling more confident and less fearless about everything, I felt really good about myself and my purpose and the people around me. She is perfectly unique, emboldened, abstract and exactly who she wants to be. Hold my feet, babe 03 led me into this new year with a quiet trusting confidence and she dazzled her way through these many months all to meet you now. 

Verdant august moon came next, she dazzled me with her ease and comfort. She’s cool and wise and knowing, which never ceases to compel my gaze. This mingling lushness came so freely in creation that I knew she would be a point of reassuring calm and cool for her collector. Accented by glistening pink and orange fluorescents, this piece never ceases to reach, assure and excite. 

Liquorice iris eyes is rich and more of a baddie than me for sure. She’s my Sunday night home flight of simple seriousness and complex, casual facades. This piece is ready for her owner to lean into these feelings and use them like a beacon of self. I love the idea of the the cool tones of this piece contrasting with some richer timber pieces, which I think could be subtly complimented by the delicate copper accents throughout. I can imagine her hanging nearby a white vase with the structural beauty of a bouquet of unopened lillies. Maybe I’ll even be sneaky and send a bouquet of lilies to her collector? 

Dijon berry bouquet is a fun time, was a fun time and always will be a little mustard powerhouse. This piece grew on me slowly but slow is smooth and smooth is fast, so I think it just adds to her all-knowing allure. The barbie pink base and sturdy maroon marry together with fine ultramarine line work to create a rich spirit. This piece is proud and fierce and has a personality to her that reminds me of a select few women who I love very much. I know she’ll be the perfect piece for her space wherever it will be. 

In a glittering world of fun and fading darkness comes peony promenade. This piece always gifts me happiness first and a flirtation with deeper feelings second. I love the movement in this painting, that tells the tale of a sensational life. It reminds me that some sisters carry themselves with such unbreakable confidence and sparkle, that I can sometimes forget where those traits have been challenged along the way. I’ve recently spoken with some women who I have admired for very long, who in my mind have that unshakable sparkling persona but upon first meeting share the diamonds beneath their surface that haven’t been polished in a long time and it brings about an even more meaningful view for me. Perhaps this piece is for someone who might think quietly that they’re defined more by the darkness than the outer sparkle and maybe peony promenade will encourage them to walk with a proud balance of the abstract beauty of both. 

Tamarillo falling sun is a tower of drama. She was dramatic in creation, I’m going to choose professionalism for now and not reveal exactly how the drama ensued or who was responsible. But, it was a rapid situation that unfolded with what I would call a perfect artistic delirium, followed by very careful and considered finality of course. I knew with this piece that I had captured something momentary and fleeting, so I took a lot of time to consider how much or how little this beauty required. The abstract, erratic atmosphere intrigues me and has held me since. I’m especially proud of this painting and the raw wonder she brings. I sometimes feel like she belongs to me— so I’m very excited to know who will collect her and for your unique mutual beauty to hold one another.

Obsidian ghost gum lake reminds me of a dancing moonlight and came about carefully, with considered control. This control made me feel wonderful, because many pieces in this collection were admittedly lacking control and were created on more of a feeling. I think the considered approach in this piece has resulted in a delicate clarity that encourages calmness for me. I see her and my mind feels smooth and knowing and my feelings fall into place. I adore the neutral greyscale palette of this painting, which is reflected so elegantly by soft, organic peaches and mossy greens. This piece brings me assurance and clarity, which I hope is extended to her collector who’s mind might be a little busy from time to time. 

Hidden harmony reflects a magnificent story which I’m quite jealous I haven’t yet been told. In my most challenging work and the final piece created for Noir, this painting boasts the merriment of many big moments. 

The challenge in retrospect is reasonable, as she was the first large scale canvas painting to feature my classical sisters. Additionally I knew she would sit alongside hold my feet, babe 03 and I hoped she would possess all of the unknown riches of a painting created on feeling alone. These are always the most rewarding pieces for me because I can’t envision them in my mind, therefore when they develop I find it to be a really incredible surprise as I have no pre-conceptions to fall back on. So much fun, however also totally aimless and what’s reliably unsettling?— the unknown, so not only did I paint without the slightest inkling of a plan, but also this piece seemed to take me on a different tangent with every passing day. It’s a troublesome developmental process to go through, but I couldn’t be prouder that we did it. The many mingling lifetimes of a particular days direction can be seen in hidden harmony, all which built toward her strong, complex and overwhelming magnificence upon first and every glance. I’m not entirely sure who she was created for, but believe me when I say that she made me work with incredible persistence for you. Upon collection I know you won’t be able to take your eyes off one another, in a very mutual adoration. 

Almost a years worth of abstract beauty featuring a vibrant reflection of our sister’s uniquely soft and perfectly hard complexities, all worthy of glorious celebration. I hope Noir: October 2022 is meaningful to you and that you can overlook the cliché. 

Narjia x

 

Photographed by Morgan Journal.

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