Substratum, 2018-2019

a) An underlying layer or substance, in particular, a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground
b) A foundation or basis of something, an underlying truth.

“Substratum” implies that the viewer might learn about the underlying truth of something, a truth that the artist observes in her milieu and daily life, which manifests itself in the artist’s work. Through diverse media such as painting, printmaking, bronze and even construction materials, Attewell presents a world of surfaces constructed in her controlled-accidental environments.

In Attewell’s work, there are initial intentions, but there is an overlapping of an uncontrolled processes. These processes ricochet off one another within her different mediums where a shared language emerges from the collection of her work. The translation from textures in her paintings, to the forms in her sculptures and shapes in her prints, all contribute to this c ollective understanding. The mark-making within them is what joins them.

The paintings are evidence of Attewell’s rationale that paint can reveal something to you if you allow it to. They are simultaneously reminiscent of galaxies, microorganisms, topographical imagery and similar shapes that the artist notices in her everyday existence. Attewell’s use of contour lining and the extended sculptural aspects of her canvasses make the exhibition about the landscape, while also defying this by being inspired by surface texture and not by the conventional scenery.

Surface and what lies beneath becomes the main focus of the show. Through Substratum, Attewell presents a body of work that shows what underlies her truth; the desire to look closer, to uncover what truly is and to challenge perception. Her continuous interest in the unnoticed, the fleeting, the overlooked or the invisible under-layer, and what is unearthed when one looks beneath the surface, are echoed in Substratum.