Debuting this month at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, the Hypatia collection is a continuation of Sekulovic’s mission to portray the modern-day mother as a muse. The series comprises 11 acrylic and graphite paintings - central to each is a nude female subject, seated on a chair from the Viaduct collection.
Nikoleta Sekulovic, Korinna of Tanagra, 2019, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 145 x 165 cm. Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery.
In Sekulovic’s signature style, the paintings use few, sketch-like lines and a limited colour palette, allowing the figures to breathe. Meanwhile, the curves of the female forms create a visual juxtaposition with the clean lines and angles of the furniture, from the defined edges of the KarakterTriAngle Stool to the sloping arms of Matiazzi'sShe Said Chair. They envelop the sitter, bringing, as Sekulovic says, “a sort of embrace to her soul, a frame to one’s being”.
Fuelled by her own experience of raising two young children, the artist sees mothers as a source of inspiration that too often goes unnoticed. As a result, the very process of sitting for the portraits plays a key part in the concept behind her work. As the muse poses, she is invited to be present in the moment, something that many mothers rarely get to experience.
“It is unique and empowering to give her a space in time to be ‘still’, to be a muse,” the artist says, “neither pretending or trying to please anyone, just being uniquely herself.”
Nikoleta Sekulovic, Hypatia, 2019, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 180 x 130 cm Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery.
A key element in creating the series was allowing each sitter to select their own piece from our furniture collection. The artist’s goal was then to incorporate them into the painting not as props, but rather as extensions of the muse’s personality.
As Sekulovic explains:
“Whether in furniture, objects or architecture, design matters to us because it unconsciously reflects our inner self and validates more of who we are. The chair allows more of the muse’s own expression, more of her authentic self to imbue the space. My mission is to transport that moment onto canvas.”
The chairs also represent a place in which the sitter can find ‘the stillness of the now’, even if just for a fleeting moment.
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