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Contemporary abstract expressionist painting in blue and black by Adele Cloony

Adele Cloony is a London based artist, with Chinese Malaysian heritage. Her art practice started as a designer for couture beadwork and embroidery, later studying jewellery and silversmithing. In the early nineties, she started training in Tai Chi and became extremely interested in this internal martial art, with its link to Taoist philosophy. During a class, Cloony recalls her teacher asking her to visualise energy reaching the tip of the sword. She was taught that energy (chi) follows intention (yi) which comes from the heart/mind, which is mirrored in Chinese calligraphy but on a smaller scale. This then prompted her to study this art form, as an extension of the body, to improve moving energy in her work.

Predominantly using traditional oversized calligraphy brushes, together with contemporary mediums, Cloony began to explore embodying energy and spirit through the brush onto paper - mindfully combining both considered and spontaneous free flowing gestural marks to express her inner dialogue. However, she wanted to create non-linguistic expressions, transcending language which were visible manifestations of essences of ancient philosophies which resonated with her - where each brush movement and breath are interconnected, underlying her root concept of interdependence.

Cloony recalls a Tai Chi practitioner's metaphor of a silk thread being drawn, as the physical movements are practised, which is intentionally replicated in the continuity of mindful brushstrokes in her paintings. She explains her paintings as having many parallels with her internal practice, one of them being: “They are both forms of moving meditation. Being in the present moment, by quietening the mind, with no mind, contemplating emptiness, connecting mind and body, becoming one with all things - no separateness but all interconnected.” It is at this moment the visual marks encompassing her energy are made, much like a photograph captures a moment in time, which once completed, is a reminder of impermanence and the seed that lies at the core of her practice.

Cloony endeavours to continue embodying energy and intricate thoughts in simple ways, giving it a minimalistic aesthetic. She hopes you will make her work, your own, by interconnecting your own meaning and experience with her original thoughts, looking internally, mindfully, and absorbing the energy and spirit through the layers of her work.

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