Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004
Justin Paton, Jude Rae, Ouroborus Publishing, 2006, illus. p.68
"Refraining from 'realist' completion, the paintings invite us to collaborate in their making. Everything depends on the exact blur of a brushstroke, the precise approximation of an outline, the almost imperceptible chromatic shifts that put energy inside and between forms." (Justin Paton, Jude Rae, 2006, p, 25)
While others of Rae’s still lifes of bottles carry the muted tones and sensitivity of Giorgio Morandi, SL142 is explosive in every sense of the word. Gas canisters, oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers all rest without their pins, making their stillness especially ominous. The use of a bright and intricate blue and gold cheap wallpaper as a backdrop - reminiscent of designs by William Morris - adds to the sense of visual tension in the image. There is an irony that Rae expresses clearly: that these objects that give us energy, air and help us in times of emergency are also objects that, if mishandled, can lead to our destruction. More than a conventional still life, this painting becomes an image of pressure and menace.