Maki Horanai 'unseen gifts' 5-26 February 2012

Maki Horanai 'unseen gifts'
Expressions of the spiritual mind and imagination.

It is very difficult to get Maki Horanai to talk about her paintings. And what might we think if she did? Can the words of the artist herself about her own work be trusted any more than the words of an outside observer? Isadora Duncan, considered by many to be the creator of modern dance, said when asked about the meaning of one of her dances: 'I can’t explain the dance to you; if I could tell you, there would be no point in dancing it'. In the same way, Maki’s paintings speak for themselves. And that’s the amazing thing about her works – they do speak to us. All we need to do is quieten our minds and hearts from their daily race and just stand in front of one and allow ourselves to be transported into her world.

And what of her world?

In one attempt to understand her world we can give autobiographical information. She was born in Japan and raised in small towns by the sea. She began to paint and draw from a young age, studied art and painting in college and is devoted to her work. Her artist-teachers at college were of great influence and support and encountering the work of Giotto, Piero Della Francesca, and Fra Angelico have been of particular importance to her.

In another sense, there is a totally different world to speak of, or rather, not to speak of, but to encounter.
Of that world, Maki says little. She paints for herself, saying 'my art is not about showing others my feelings, but about discovering unknown feelings for myself'. And perhaps for us, the viewers, it’s the same. What we can discover in Maki’s paintings is not her feelings, but our own. And to tell her this - of our own discovered, uncovered feelings found in her work - is of great joy for her to hear.

In this, her twelfth solo exhibition in Australia, there are many places to travel and many worlds to see by placing ourselves in Maki’s hands. She is an extraordinary artist and we consider ourselves privileged to encounter each of her works.


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