Moray Gallery

Rachel Hirabayashi: The Moment Before

2-29 September 2023

The stillness of the moment before the storm or the sense of a void before an apology. These are the spaces and the places we might have stopped.

Held open. And then released change.  In Hirabayashi’s painting, we are able to fly through the landscape and we can engage in traveling back. Back to a moment of hope.  Hirabayashi’s new collection works like a needle. She places two familiar and alien characters in her imagined landscape. They prick our consciousness. As an observation of church and state, and cultures about to meet, Hirabayashi has placed a stitch, has marked the expectation of arrival. And without appropriation, she offers us an opening line.

Hirabayashi’s ancestry is noted in the ship. Norwegian and Welsh genetics contend with Japanese, South American and Mexican experiences in this Central paradise. This very particular home and landscape of the mind. The church may be Catholic or a reimagined version of her hometown Cromwell's skyline. And the landscape is a creation, a mixture of strict horizon and highlighted mountains, of a sky captured before the turmoil or a dazzling day.   Hirabayashi doesn’t tell us the result but portrays the moment before. The question is ‘What is to come?’

LINK to James Dignan's ODT review of The Moment Before.