Pedie Wolfond makes paintings that pulsate with light. Her colours become ignited through contrast with neutrals causing the paintings to blaze or glow depending on subtle structuring within the composition.

The Abstract Expressionist teacher Hans Hoffman noted ‘Light makes color in nature but, colour makes light in painting’. Wolfond’s work epitomizes this observation and then appends a transcendental element. In this she diverges from orthodox Abstract Expressionism, which stressed the objectivity of painting. Wolfond invites subjectivity, presenting the visual circumstances to initiate a mystical realization.

Her painting process is intuitive though. She might begin a canvas with a strong underlying ground like a bright yellow. Progressive layers of colour curtail areas and increase visual complexity. In ‘Adam’s Energy’, the dark areas that seem black are instead inhabited by dim shades of other colours. These dramatic patches are essential to impart rhythm to the painting, modulating the ‘push and pull’ as the eye traverses the whole. The result is analogous to a living organism so that her paintings seem to breathing in and out.

Wolfond paints with acrylic glazes in a complex process of staining. She works on the floor and from every side, striving to make all her elements reach a state of balance. This is not merely across the surface but also the projected space that builds up towards and away from the viewer.

Her marks all have a handmade feeling and are kept to a human scale, expressing humility. Their form is confined to vertical and horizontal strokes, whose primary task is to be a vehicle for the colour and then act as rhythmic intervals.

In certain works, snatches of bright colour emerge through a mist of white. The mystical reference is perhaps more subtle in these, but no less present. The primordial metaphor of emergence is activated, so there is a sense of mystery being revealed.

Pedie Wolfond’s paintings are sensuous evocations of human possibility. We bathe in their light, a radiance that invites healing and contemplation.

Writing by Ashley Johnson

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