Caroline Walls’s New Exhibition — Named for a Joy Division Song — Explores the Artist’s Ideas About Intimacy and Ambiguity

Mystery and accessibility, our public and private identities, what we can only glimpse of other people and what we may not even know about ourselves — these are the puzzles at the heart of Caroline Walls’ first solo show, Touching from a Distance, at the James Makin Gallery in Melbourne. “I’m interested in how much we reveal of ourselves to the outside world, and how this can create or diminish connection and intimacy between ourselves and others,” says the New Zealand–born, Melbourne-based Walls, whose large oil paintings of striped, billowing fabric both contrast with and complement her more figurative works of the female form. Taken together, her oil paintings inhabit a space somewhere between abstraction and representation, exposing different regions of the same thematic territory: emotional intimacy.