Behind Closed Doors
The Paravent piece - a functional object of a privacy screen - amplifies the idea of hiding and revealing that is at the core of my process and its imagery. It continues to investigate the place that painting has at the juncture of decorative arts and as a space for intellectual inquiry. I allow contradiction to happily coexist: indoor and outdoor, hidden and seen, the intimate and the revealed.
Vitalistic Fantasies is the capacity of the paint - a dead matter to retain the life of the artist. Isabelle Graw explains that in a Vitalistic Fantasy, self-command, will, and energy - are projected onto lifeless material. The painting itself embodies the presence of the absent author. The idea is a living artwork, like an organic system, a field of flowers.
The rough surface of flax provides staunch resistance to the brush, to build a bucolic tonality. Similarly, the gingham fabric evokes a rustic ‘fantasy’ of early 20th century Europe.
Between you and me
On the slopes of the Alps, a field of flowers is too abundant for you to walk through
Some giant sunflowers are guarding the hidden green space of east London
At the edge of winter, the blooming flowers are teasing you, edging through the bare forest
And the row of naked trees acts as a barrier between you and me
You don’t know what is behind, what is hidden, but only what is left to be seen
During the lockdown, I made a series of pastel on paper called ‘Anxious Flowers’. Those works are about the common feeling of anxiety that we are all to some degree experiencing during this unsettling time. Humankind is facing something bigger than itself. Nature feels extremely relevant today and also frightening, it is putting us in place. The entire world is looking at the same issue and this one is invisible. There is a sort of fearful beauty in that communality; in that collective and sometimes private grief.