Miranda Hine’s Alluring Paintings Of English House Museums

Miranda Hine initially studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts before moving into museum creation.

These worlds combined have inspired her new exhibition, Making Beds, which depicts intimate slivers inside English historic house museums.

Just as these scenes have been highly orchestrated to suit a public museum, Miranda deliberately composes and manipulates each setting, asking the viewer to consider what is valued.

Miranda is originally from Brisbane — an outsider viewpoint that is captured in these paintings created where she’s currently based in London.

‘While here I’ve become acutely aware of being Australian. It’s not something that people here necessarily care about, but I’ve come to appreciate just how much that context has shaped my ways of seeing,’ she says.

‘To be showing this series of works – that was painted in London and features views from London historic house museums – in Australia, feels fitting.’

The house museums portrayed include Dennis Severs’ House, Freud Museum, Leighton House, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and Charles Dickens Museum.

Miranda has developed her artistic style by ‘trying lots of different things and having lots of failures’ to arrive at a process she deeply enjoys and is constantly surprised by.

‘To me, the process is really important. It’s the fun bit,’ she explains. ‘I never know how a work will turn out when I begin.’

Her works are created using oil paints on gessoed hardboard — a base specifically selected for its ‘slipperiness’ and absorbency. Thinner is added to fluidify the paint, creating the soft, legible and slightly transparent brush strokes that characterise Miranda’s work.

‘There’s lots of pushing the paint around and wiping it back to create a sense of form and light. I love how ambiguous you can be in creating images this way,’ Miranda says.

‘I take my glasses off when I paint and my eyesight is really poor, so that stops me focusing on the detail and more on light, value, shape and colour instead.’

The work is complete when Miranda is happy with the outcome, whether that takes an hour, or several weeks spent refining.

See ‘Making Beds’ by Miranda Hine at MARS Gallery from Thursday May 9 – Saturday June 1.

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