Sybil Curtis questions the very nature of transgression by focusing on safety barriers in her latest exhibition Warning Colours. These barriers are depicted guarding industrial landscapes around the Newcastle Steelworks and Sydney Wharves.
In her paintings, safety barriers are dwarfed by the industrial structures that surround them, yet even at this insubstantial scale they effectively prohibit access. This, Curtis argues, is because of their recognisable colours which in nature, as well as in the constructed world, represent danger. These colours invoke an awareness of impending danger which provides their strongest deterrent against trespass.
It is also as a result of their strong colour that these barriers become aesthetic elements in Curtis?s work, breaking up the repetitive forms of the constructions themselves and standing in opposition to the ?sombre industrial? landscape that characterises her oeuvre.