by Anna Sutton in New Art on Monday 20 April 2009

Melbourne artist Joanna Mortreux’s oil painting, Looking Back Undoes Everything, is peopled with otherworldly anthropomorphic creatures in various states of flight. Inspired by illustrated encyclopedias of animals, these strange life forms possess a dynamic duality that captures the tension between evolution and de-evolution.

As Mortreux sees it, there is a separational gap in knowledge between confrontation and recognition of the unfamiliar. When you’re looking at the work, it reflects who you are. You’re in a space where you can’t gauge the identity of the creature and that puts you offside. The result is an expansive awareness of our connection to the animal kingdom.

Second nature runs at Bus Gallery Melbourne between 7 AprilĀ  and 24 April.