Kaye McGarva's work is focussed on perception and the act of looking. Artists (and scientists) have been using optical illusions for over 100 years to reveal the inner workings of the human body. If nothing else, they teach us our eyes are not the objective visual organs that our conscious mind likes to believe, but rather they are part of an array of tools the body uses to make judgements about our world.

Although abstract, the Crease Paintings have a photographic quality that looks like something familiar but strange. It is an invitation to the viewer to draw on their previous experiences to determine what they are seeing. They become an active part in the creative process by adding new and wonderful interpretations of the work that perhaps weren’t seen by the artist.

Some of her paintings - particularly those that possess a topographical quality - can bring on visceral, physical reactions for the viewer. The lack of visual clues to subject and scale can cause them to experience feelings of disorientation or vertigo.

In other instances viewers can experience a static painting moving. Her ambiguous use of shadows mean forms can change shape. Ones that appear at first glance to be convex - after looking for a few minutes - can change to concave and vice versa. Once seen the viewer is caught in an infinite loop of changing perception.


My home and studio are located in rural Hawkes Bay, nestled into the rugged hillside of Te Mata Peak. Having this elevated position with its distant vista feeds into my art practice, both directly and indirectly.

I divide my time between running Muse Art Gallery and working in my home studio.