SUITS is the first solo exhibition of Newcastle-based artist Alicia France. A recent graduate from Newcastle university with her self-portrait now in the Ruth Borchard Next Generation collection, her work delves into the naked portrait. Her traditional methods of painting and etching combined with contemporary subject, glorify the individual subject as well as the simple beauty of naked flesh. France considers her works as naked portraits rather then ‘nudes’ due to her strong focus on the individual themselves, their personality and their close-to-home surroundings as well the essence of the moment that captures them.
The mundane and contemporary is juxtaposed with the influence of portraiture throughout art history. The settings and the subject’s stance is often echoed naturally by the model without direction. This creates an image that is relatable yet carries subtle references to the work of the masters.
France’s work relays the stories of the subject through their surrounding environment of which is often their own.
Of her artistic practice, Alicia France says: “ I am passionate to communicate the life of the person through such things as surrounding objects and their settings. Detail is essential to my work; I like the thought of the viewer reading the painting as well as looking”
Aluminium plate is the surface of which France paints her muses. France says: “This particular surface gives the flesh a radiance and depth, especially when the aluminium is exposed, as well as offering a solid, luxury element to my work”
Alicia France has exhibited work in Newcastle and London, including six works in the annual Discerning Eye Exhibition and now has her self-portrait in the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection following purchase by Kings Place Piano Nobile Gallery, London.