Originally from Sale, Gippsland, artist Libby Haines swapped the country for Melbourne, where she works from her home studio. As a mother and an artist, her work cherishes the joy of everyday moments and the nostalgia of objects in colourful still life paintings.

Painting becomes a form of escapism for Haines to think and create an alternate reality inspired by her surroundings. Alongside joy and feelings of nostalgia, a playful sense comes through the work. Capturing the uncanny and unremarkable —her shower, unmade bed, or a kitchen in motion— but in textural brushstrokes and vibrant colours, they become alive and not quite reality.

Within Haines’s oeuvre, the subject matter reflects the domestic and the constraints of motherhood, yet here there is beauty in the everyday. Appreciating the quiet moments of life, especially through lockdown. Cooking, eating, enjoying a nice bottle of wine, all to a tonal palette that is joyful and slightly surreal.

Intimate details from within the home are reflective of the viewers’ intimacy with their own surroundings. As a result, the artworks are anchored in the now, contemplative of both motherhood and life in lockdown.