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| THE OUTBACK OF MIND |

Kiki Stickl´s painting and drawing is closely related to landscape- yet not in the sense of classic landscape painting but rather as a medium or a mental background that her lines and colours refer to while forming a composition. The open landscape is the source for reflection, the drawing turns the flat sheet of paper into
a poetic space of lines, colours and textures. She actually reinvents this space in every drawing. The pencil puts memories and feelings into shape that seem to roll from the back of her head;
layers of colour and lines hover between black and white crayon blotches giving the drawing both depth and lightness. In some of her drawings the shape of a head appeares: it seems to be memorizing and unfolds an imaginative space on the white paper bounded by a few dashes and a blob of spray colour.
The camera works as a useful sketchbook gathering scenes from day to day life, colours and shapes, a torn down advertising poster revealing several layers of paper underneath or a whitewashed shopwindow hiding the refurbishing work inside.
Kiki´s oil paintings combine all the qualities of her drawings. Her experience in reduction, her feeling for lines join into the depth of her colours. In a sensuous network of dozens of layers of paint she creates a »mind space« on the canvas. She mixes various techniques, wide paintbrush strokes slash the wet canvas, diffuse lines of colour spray contrast with scratched inscriptions by the end of a pencil: the space she invents on the canvas reflects current thoughts, asks questions and recalls vague memories. Some paintings give the impression of a blurred landscape seen from a train at high speed: odd relics rush past- possibly fence poles in a field or just a cast of a shadow. Images set into images: semi-transparent squares of colour open new aspects, the searching glance seems to penetrate the surface and follow the movement of the lines weaving through the picture, sometimes it is abruptly stopped by a monochrome »blind« shape. Kiki is very aware of the enticing habits of the eye.
Deliberately set irritations, blocks of monochrome colour in unexpected positions do not allow the eye to linger, keep it alert. It is all about movement in space, in the space of time, of life, of memory. Vast sceneries spread widely into the outback of mind and yet are stunning in their presence.

O. Hein