Fourth Wall

Claudia Avril

  • 13 Sep - 20 Sep, 2019

Join us for a gathering to celebrate the exhibition Fourth Wall by artist and Master of Arts student, Claudia Avril on Thur 12 Sept from 4 - 6pm.

Claudia Avril is a Hamilton-based artist and arts educator whose abstract paintings investigate notions of perception and explore the figure-ground dynamics at play within paintings.  She is interested in the way paintings are activated by the participation of the viewer, and the subtle play between the way dimension is rendered in both the virtual and the actual world of things.  Claudia’s recent work has centred around paintings on shaped boards and dimensional folding.  Her process includes capturing the very small differentiations of tone from real-world surfaces as data and bending this 2D visual data into 3D form, before actualising the artwork. Claudia’s paintings can appear to shift toward the viewer and generate a visual reverberation between illusionistic and actual space.


In theatre, the ‘fourth wall’ is the imagined wall that separates actors from the audience.  The audience can see the actor, but the actor rarely acknowledges the audience unless they ‘break the fourth wall’.  As a reference to this convention with its title Fourth Wall, this exhibition considers a subtle spatial and perceptual region, described by the artist as “the threshold between a performed view of reality and the viewer's reality”.  The artist lays out a similar logic with this series of paintings that uses illusion and visually questions the space between the painting and the actual/physical space of the viewer. The paintings in Fourth Wall attempt a crossing of this wall as they actively come forward to meet their viewer. To consider the virtual and the actual as equally ‘real’ necessitates an acknowledgement of the intimate relationships between perception, affect, and concept.  Relationships that take place within the changing landscapes of the digital, the organic and the inorganic (and the increasingly subtle distinctions between them all).

Historically the tradition of painting has revelled in illusion, employing a range of techniques that transport the viewer away from their space and time to another location. Representing the unknown or the imaginative brings these realms into play. The paintings in Fourth Wall have a different aim, they are constructs that ‘do’ rather than ‘represent’.  Hovering in the space of the fourth wall they are not static and instead attempt to spin, reflect or nudge their way forward.

The artist considers painting to be an illusionistic artform that can, in good humour, enable a ‘thinking’ space, a ‘feeling’ space, and a ‘being in’ space that fold together to create an experience. An experience that is fluid and changing; once built up, it can as easily be pulled down, assembled and re-assembled, with each perceptive encounter.

“…Perspectivism amounts to a relativism, but not the relativism we take for granted. It is not a variation of truth according to the subject, but the condition in which the truth of a variation appears to the subject. This is the very idea of Baroque perspective”.

Gilles Deleuze in The Fold