The Colour and the Shape: Tye McBride

Tye McBride’s debut solo exhibition pod at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka would be a formidable exhibition from any artist, let alone such a recent graduate. McBride studied painting, but, as the exhibition demonstrates, can turn her hand to just about anything she likes: 3D constructions, paint and ink on canvas and works applied straight onto the wall.

The premise of the work is simple: straight lines, geometric shapes and flat surfaces, coming together to create orderly yet elegant forms. In her most simple (and I believe, most exquisite*) works, McBride drafts razor-sharp line drawings onto raw canvas. For more complex pieces she concocts an carefully considered mass of angular planes in varying colour and size, painstakingly built out of paper and card, and also replicated in paint.

It’s a welcome change to view work that exists outside of a conceptual context. That’s not to say that Mcbride’s work is without concept, rather that it exercises the quieter joys of the visual realm – a sort of spatial celebration. There is something surprisingly intoxicating about running one’s eyes along a perfect line, and an almost childlike satisfaction in shapes that lock together to become part of a larger whole. It’s like a meditation for the eyes, in a flashy, frenetic world.

* In fact I liked these so much that I bought one, bringing the number of items in my personal art collection to a very impressive total of 2

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