‘This is a documentation of what I see when I really look. Taking notice of the anonymous sleeper on the street brings forth an obvious disparity. We share these streets in this town and live in very different ways.
Streets of this town, CAITLIN REILLY
Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay
21 May – 18 June 2022
I am an artist and I paint what is in front of me. In this way I reflect contemporary life in my painting process. The things that are on the ground, a Fanta bottle or a plastic washing basket. Places where possessions are made secure, placed beneath heads for a pillow. The dark corner providing privacy and a place to sleep, the shopping trolley used as a gate of protection and then left behind.
The intrigue is for me is in the way light falls and explains the feeling of a thing. A wine cask or a Woolworths plastic bag. The act of painting shows me that everything has beauty in it. The sadness for me is the story. It is neglect from a society that neglects itself. A lack of connection and community, the vital life force that can create real support systems.
I want to gain an understanding of this obvious yet silent reality. It seems like the conditions that shape this reality are becoming more prevalent something made clear with the recent floods.
In painting these works I connect to my own sense of humanity. As I paint these folds that shape the imagined body underneath, turning up the volume ever so slightly in places to bring forth the feelings of despair, sadness and beauty. Painting these pictures amplifies my own fears of security and awareness of the economic hardships leading to homelessness.
My intention is to capture the visceral sense of homelessness and at the same time offer a perspective rendered with care and in doing so capture and focus your gaze to look closer at another side of the streets of this town.’
Caitlin Reilly, 2022