There is a marked painterly turn in these new works from Chris Heaphy and it feels as if the artist has only walked away from the canvas moments prior to us seeing them. His movements are captured in gestural washes of colour that sweep down and across the paintings with barely contained energy. These same physical actions of mark-making are also curtailed and confined within individual silhouettes, where they glow like stained glass - fitting for a body of work whose titles speak of light, fading, glowing.
Heaphy uses these silhouetted motifs as visual placeholders within the paintings: their clear, sharp outlines anchor the layered picture planes and provide an internal structure for each work. The centre of the paintings are dominated by a primary motif (profiled face, feather, vessel) which provides a starting point for viewers. Additional motifs appear to float above both background and centre, and add to the pictorial and conceptual depth of each canvas.
Heaphy plays with scale and placement of individual motifs and, collage-like, they are cut adrift from any original context. The Arrival of Dawn sees more than a dozen motifs lined up along the bottom of the canvas. It feels natural to read the collection of images from left to right, like a sentence. This is accentuated by the fact that the bird and human motifs are facing towards the light, perhaps eastwards towards a new dawn or a new day.