Rowena Martinich is a Surfcoast based artist, renowned for her use of radiant colour in abstract expressionist paintings and public art. Rowena paints in a multitude of architectural contexts; embellishing foyers, commercial interiors, entire building facades, transitory spaces as well as residential interiors.
‘Trace’ is a lively exploration of movement, colour, scale and point-of-view. Presented as a diptych, Martinich injects movement, subtle colour studies and bold graphic strokes into the everyday experience of traversing a staircase. When viewed up-close as one ascends or descends the stairs, ‘Trace’ intends to distract and enthral at once. Likewise, as drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians are stopped at the intersection of Burrows Road, Bourke Road and Campbell Road, they are momentarily entranced by Martinich’s playful gestures; a welcome relief from the tedium of traffic or a peaceful presence on their daily commute.
Martinich intends for ‘Trace’ as a colour study in blues and their complementary colours. As a site responsive work, the soft, curved lines and ‘random’ bursts of paint stand as beacons of colour in contrast to the angular architecture of the building. The palette was chosen in response to the soft champagne and brass hues of the building’s steel cladding and its chocolate brickwork.
Martinich’s artistic process involved painting layers of colour and gesture while walking across panels laid out on the floor like puzzle pieces. The artist blended layers of paint using large brushes and mops, sometimes using multiple colours in the one stroke to gradually create a complex thread of expressive mark making. Crisp lines of the graphic roller mark were then added, and finally fuzzy edges of soft spray. The bodily movement and trace that is imbued in the work by the artist fuses artist and artwork for years to come.
Art Pharmacy in collaboration with Goodman proposed a public artwork in line with the rich history and vibrant creative community of Alexandria, NSW.
Axis Alexandria is the first multi-level industrial facility of its kind in Australia. Located in the pivotal heart of South Sydney, adjacent to the WestConnex St Peters Interchange.
Goodman and Art Pharmacy selected Martinich to implement large-scale artworks inside two five-storey fire stairwells to encourage tenants, visitors, and the broader community to reflect on the power of colour, scale and movement.