Elisabeth Bodey
The Sound Of One Hand - Vespers


The title of this exhibition The Sound Of One Hand is a ‘koan’ or Zen Buddhist paradoxical saying. It reflects the act of painting, the playing of an instrument: the relations between music and painting.


Through the use of visual elements such as colour and in the method of their construction, these paintings reflect these associations between music and painting. Both share the language of abstraction. 


Though my interest is in contemporary music, the title Vespers is a response initially to the

colours used in these paintings, particularly the purples and greens. These colours remind me of the rich sounds of the Western music ‘evensong’ tradition such as that of the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil) Opus 37.


This group of paintings have been made with the memories of sound, particularly that of classical New Music. They are visual responses to resonances experienced and sensations perceived in the music I listen to, how it’s felt, how it’s ‘touched’.


Responses are translated through the material aspects of colour, mark and line. They begin with the consideration of the space as an open-ended, expandable one, waiting to be occupied with moments of discordance, stridency or occasional harmony.


Elisabeth Bodey, September 2017


Elisabeth Bodey is a Melbourne-based artist and has been exhibiting for thirty years. As an artist her journey has moved through associated practices such as installation though hers has always been predominantly a painting practice. Since completing her Doctor of Philosophy at the Australian National University in Painting/Cross-cultural Studies in 2016, her focus is now on painting as a practice informed by and exploring abstraction.


Elisabeth exhibited her work in Abstract Project, Paris in August 2017.  In July 2017 she participated in a collaboration with Andrian Pertout (composer), A.J. Carruthers (poet) and Chui Tanching (musician) in Poetic Energies Across Sonic Space at the University of Western Sydney.

Her work is held in both public collections such as the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Australia, Monash University and Artbank and in private collections in both Australia and overseas.




Elisabeth Bodey

The Sound of One Hand - Vespers

The Lobby

Sofitel Melbourne On Collins

October - December 2017

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