Marijke Vasey's frame paintings consider the relationship between painting and the decorative. She reappraises the status of decorative embellishment by re-examining the role of the frame in relationship to fine art paintings and painted art objects. By re-drawing this supplementary border within the confines of the canvas, Vasey makes the ornate, yet invisible, support act of the frame the primary focus of her work.
Vasey's influences are drawn from a plethora of sources, from medieval tapestries, Russian religious icons and the borders on illuminated manuscripts to commercial graphics from different eras. These references feed a visual language that has evolved out of a sculptural investigation of the properties of paint / painted matter. As such Vasey's painted frames are populated by amorphous mouldings, that reference plants, body parts and painted matter itself.
This heady cocktail of influences and imagery is channelled into a painterly language of excess that simultaneously recalls both the painterly flourishes of Rococo and the grandiose gestures of abstract expressionism. This richly ornate, embellished and indulgent brushwork is offset against a seemingly empty void at the centre of the works. As such the painted frames act like an agitant, creeping in from the edges of the canvas, impinging upon the perceived purity of the otherwise monochromatic or gradated colourfields that they surround.