Vanessa Stockard 2020

29/08/2020 - 19/09/2020

Vanessa Stockard


oil on board

40.00 x 40.00 cm


Vanessa Stockard 2020

The Wondrous World of Vanessa Stockard.

The world of Vanessa Stockard is one of whimsy, fantastical mythology and more than a little madness. It’s at once strangely funny and thematically threatening. Her works invite you into this space to share a child-like wonder, but once there, an unsettling feeling takes hold and you’re through the looking glass.

You’re intrigued, captivated and maybe even a little scared not unlike the first time you opened Maurice Sendak’s, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’.

Alice herself would find this Wonderland challenging. It’s a landscape of twist and turns, peaks and troughs where you’ll feel at times bathed in the light of childhood nostalgia then, just when you get your footing, the ground falls away and your tumbling towards a Kafkaesque whirlpool of confusion.

Cruz states that art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable and Stockard’s impressionistic style, with a hint of surrealism certainly does that. Your eyes are drawn inward, often to a central subject, impossibly positioned in a seeming endless void. The background holds as much intrigue as the main event. The Cheshire Cat with his riddles and ironic lexicon couldn’t hold a candle to the types of questions raised by Stockard’s work. In this latest series, the Australian based artist is creating a fairy-tale for adults. The feeling evoked when viewing Stockard’s show is not unlike that moment you first awake, dazed and confused as to space and time. Stockard takes mundane everyday objects and injects them with liquid LSD, her brush strokes reminiscent of starry nights and sunflowers. Jean-Paul Sartre himself couldn’t encapsulate a view of the world more surreal, yet honest in its depiction of that which we are surrounded every day.

Stockard’s work gives a fresh insight into what most of us take for granted. We’re challenged to see things with fresh eyes, our shoulders unburdened by the weight of adult life. We value art and artists because they give us a vision of the other, whether it’s an aristocratic tuxedoed kitten or an imaginary dino-monster. This exhibition takes us to places unexplored and into worlds unknown.

If emotions could be captured in a glass receptacle, surely, we would seek to do so. How much would a ampoule of sleep sell for on the open market? What price for a 125ml of love? Can you quantify “the feeling of patting a rabbit?” These are ethereal metrics to be sure, but what do you expect when your product is liquid eccentricity.

If the purpose of art is to make sense of the world around us then I’ve got news for you, you’ll exit this exhibit with more questions than answers. I don’t know about you, but I’m ok with that.

Unlike the subject matter in her work, Vanessa Stockard’s essence can be neither bottled nor contained, and even if we could, we wouldn’t dare. There’s only one way to view Stockard’s world and that is to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

(Hugh O’Brien)




By Appointment
Tuesday - Friday
11:00AM - 5:30PM
11:00AM - 4:00PM


Scott Livesey Galleries
610 High Street, Prahran
Victoria, Australia, 3181
+613 9824 7770