16 July to 5 Sept 2021

Inhabit is a new body of work by local artist Petalia Humphreys that explores both non-objective and architectonic approaches to geometric painting.

With non-objective considerations for colour, space and form, Humphreys’ reductive cube paintings reconsider traditional gallery installation by occupying corners, or in having been hung well below the recommended eye line. Humphreys’ three-dimensional paintings occupy the gallery alongside wall painted mural work that are site-specific responses to the architecture of space. 

Humphreys’ hand-made structural forms are both formal and playful, inviting the viewer to actively engage with the gallery space. The hard edge and crisp lines create a tension that is relieved by the painted surface that reveals the gestural stroke of the artist’s hand.

Artist Statement

“My practice explores what might be considered three-dimensional paintings; abstract paintings that reveal a concern for location, colour and space.  With hard-edge, geometric forms, my work encourages an interactive approach, inviting the audience to engage in playful ways, considering ways of looking, perceiving and viewing the work within the gallery space. 

Constructed with building materials, my work is concerned with both non-objective and architectural form- location, light, movement and space.  With the hard-edge clearly evident, closer inspection of the surface reveals a gestural stroke- evidence of the process inherent in the works’ production.” – Petalia Humphreys


Born and raised in Queensland, Petalia Humphreys graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Art, Visual Art (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts) in the late 1990s. Petalia has worked as art educator with a background in contemporary art practices and has exhibited at the Brisbane Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Metro Arts, Brisbane Powerhouse, Smith & Stoneley and The University of Sydney. After living in the UK and travelling through Europe with her family, Petalia returned to Queensland, moving to Peregian Beach in 2015. Petalia lives and works on Gubbi Gubbi land.

Working across the mediums of painting and sculpture, Petalia Humphreys’ work is concerned with the spatial relationships that exist within the exhibition space and upon the surface of the painted object. There is an architectural concern for the physical mapping of spaces, of spatial and perceptual shifts.

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Main image: Petalia Humphreys, Inhabit (detail) 2021. Courtesy of the artist.