SUPPLY – Christiane Shortal
In SUPPLY Christiane Shortal has created relics of a lost civilisation, depicting creatures and figures whose struggles supernaturally reflect modern life. In her paintings, unearthly creatures watch and loom over the human figures – a reflection of the hierarchies that she sees permeating our society at work, through religion and in social spaces. Twisting tentacles, bulging amoebas and surveilling eyeballs are part of the dominant force within the works which Shortal likens to those who pull the levers of our society.
Shortal applies historic established visual language and techniques, such as decorative borders, outlined figures and shortened picture fields seen in historic East Asian art to evoke a feeling of old knowledge. In cataloguing life in this otherworld, these depictions of domestic scenes also feel educative or instructional, pertinent to our modern life while also giving glimpses into the larger mystery of another civilisation.
The works walk a line between being dark and being playful. Elements of Lovecraftian horror and existential dread are juxtaposed with colour, soft edges and delightful details. Shortal invites us to explore her organic visual narrative with its assembly of symbols, designed to intrigue and beguile and leave us yearning to know more.