Sanderson are pleased to present the exhibition Tempo, featuring a suite of monotype prints by Zara Dolan.
Zara Dolan is an Irish born, New Zealand artist, based in Otautahi Christchurch. Her new body of work is a
selection of unique prints created on a large traditional printmaking press – the largest in the country.
With luminaries including Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, David Reed, and David Row serving as guiding
lights, Dolan’s prints are inspired by the embodied nature of action painting. Each monotype presents a
dynamic energy - a suspended moment of lively, animated motion. With particular focus on colour and form
this series builds on the artist’s research into colour theory and the captivating interplay of colours and their
Dolan’s practice hinges on the process-driven nature of monotype printing. The works materialise the very
moment before the printing takes place; the artist applying multiple layers of ink onto the printing plate
followed by a subtractive process of removing ink from its surface. Once rolled, the image transfers unable
to be recreated, making every print unique. Each work is titled to encapsulate their creative voyage;
reflecting the HEX colour code, press cycles, and tools used within their artistic amalgamation.
Drawing on abstract expressionist mark making, Dolan’s gestures are direct and intuitive; mediated by the
application of colour. Each work follows a meticulous set of repeated motions, guided by a precise
methodology that the artist has developed over years of art making. Yet, each iteration is also spontaneous -
an immediate translation of painterly gesture and expression.
Working at such a large scale immerses the artist completely in the creative process. This forges a profound
connection to the work, which she describes as a significant aspect of her artistic journey. Music plays a
central role in enabling this creative process. Similar to abstract expressionists like Pollock, who submerged
himself in free-form jazz while painting, the artist immerses herself in the rhythms and breakbeats of drum
and base music. This allows the artist to enter a meditative state of complete focus while working. The
resulting marks are consequently informed by the intonations in the music the artist has been listening to.
Each stroke is shaped by differing tempos: faster cadence conveying excitement and energy, whilst slower
beats evoke a sense of calm.
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