Billy McQueen | Archive 03
The subject matter of McQueen’s new paintings is largely drawn from domestic scenes of family life or imagery of, or connected to, ancestral land in the Kaingaroa Plains. His choice of subject matter quietly biographical – not political – and really secondary to his central aim, which is concerned with painterly substance and surface and the illusionistic spaces it can create.
While these personalised images start out as biography, they end up somewhere between painted images and abstract paintings, playing in that elusive ‘in-between space’ where form is undermined, obscured, ambiguous and open to interpretation.
McQueen’s work, while decidedly pictorial in appearance, is concerned with the evocative potential of paint, embracing both the recent history of abstraction alongside broader traditions of narrative painting. His distinctive approach to the language and medium of painting – coupled with a use of photography as a source – allows the artist create resonant and ambiguous images which shift between the real and imaginary, pushing at the medium’s potential for depth and meaning.