If your prime position is perched on the fence with a severe aversion to choosing one way or the other, then you’ll probably vibe with Sydney-based American artist Amber Boardman’s latest show at Darlinghurst’s Chalk Horse gallery.
Decision Fatigue, opening January 28 and running for a month, is all about the inexorably crushing anxiety sparked by all the little Y/N’s that accrue throughout our days, weeks and months. She was fascinated researching the phenomena where all the mundane stuff just piles up and up on our shoulders, exacerbated by our oft-online digital lives, corralled by algorithms and turbo-boosted during lockdown boredom.
“All of these little decisions, many of them screen-based, slowly erode energy and willpower throughout the day,” Boardman says. “How do you solve the problem of the increasing speed of life? How do you catch the internet and pin it down? For me, painting is a way of understanding, a way of organizing and putting things away in neat containers. But I also rebel against too much structure and want to break out of it.”
She sure does. The resulting large-scale oil paintings teem with energising colour, from the diorama-style cut through of a beachside residence cloistered by trees in ‘Dream Home Renovation’ to the cosy living room hangs of ‘Movie Night’. We also love the various pink bits of ‘Porn Categories’. “I spend a lot of time on my computer – clean grids and right angles – and I work with paint – oily, smelly, and unruly – but all of us are simultaneously dealing with neat and tidy binary code, and the messy human elements of people, bodies, and personalities,” she adds.
We are so into this sort of messiness, and heading straight to Chalk Horse.