Sir Charles Gardiner Mental Health Hospital

The natural environment is the predominant theme of Monique Tippett’s artwork. Seeking to draw the viewer into a contemplative space her works, which bridge the gap between painting and sculpture, are abstract impressions of the forest, river and ocean. Each piece is an exploration of her relationship with nature, distilled, summarized and then made real in her studio.Timber with all of its solidity, warmth, and texture is her canvas of choice, deepening her relationship to the land. Each work is constructed with carefully placed spaces and textures to capture perspective, light and shadow. Yet she is equally drawn to colour, using combinations of acrylic paint, ink and sometimes, tinted lacquers, to evoke atmosphere, season and climate.  The forests of the southwest are the inspiration for the large ‘Forest Triptych’ in the Tanami Unit. The three segments of the work are constructed from small squares of marri veneer glued to a plywood substrate. The acrylic and ink painted forest scene shifts in colour, tone and density from the ground through the vertical tree trunks to the lighter shades of the overhead canopy. This theme continues with ‘Abundance’ in which late winter wattle is captured in green and gold on horizontal strips of sheoak of varying thicknesses.Subtle textures, soft green, turquoise and mauve, and the pleasing absence of sharp corners in ‘Shimmer’ in the Jurabi Unit conjure a calming feeling of gazing onto sunlit water flickering as a light wind skims over, whereas in the Karajini Courtyard the chunky, roughly hewn jarrah informal seats of ‘Gathering’ proffer an immediate connection to the earthy materiality of the wood.The architects were so impressed with Monique’s interpretation of forest that they asked her for sketches of leaves, which they re-scaled to incorporate onto other surfaces throughout the building.

For the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Mental Health Unit, Monique worked closely with the architects to create a suite of six artworks integrated throughout the facility. For the foyer she combined solid marri and acrylic sheet to construct suspended discs entitled ‘Sheltered’, painting branches and leaves on the acrylic with tinted lacquer to recall memories of lying on grass on a warm afternoon, watching light dancing and diffusing through tree canopies. ‘Sunset Reflection’ in the Isdell Day Procedure Unit is a meeting of earth, water and sky. Constructed from solid beech timber, the work in two parts is separated horizontally by a 10mm space. The lower panel is heavily textured to suggest wind over water whereas the smooth and glossy finish of the upper panel captures the refection of the sun on the ocean as it goes down into a cool evening.

The forests of the southwest are the inspiration for the large ‘Forest Triptych’ in the Tanami Unit. The three segments of the work are constructed from small squares of marri veneer glued to a plywood substrate. The acrylic and ink painted forest scene shifts in colour, tone and density from the ground through the vertical tree trunks to the lighter shades of the overhead canopy. This theme continues with ‘Abundance’ in which late winter wattle is captured in green and gold on horizontal strips of sheoak of varying thicknesses. Subtle textures, soft green, turquoise and mauve, and the pleasing absence of sharp corners in ‘Shimmer’ in the Jurabi Unit conjure a calming feeling of gazing onto sunlit water flickering as a light wind skims over, whereas in the Karajini Courtyard the chunky, roughly hewn jarrah informal seats of ‘Gathering’ proffer an immediate connection to the earthy materiality of the wood. The architects were so impressed with Monique’s interpretation of forest that they asked her for sketches of leaves, which they re-scaled to incorporate onto other surfaces throughout the building.

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