Pruinescence includes a series of new paintings made especially for this show. In these paintings, the artist creates new pictorial and fictional spaces by using distorted perspectives and surrealist formalism. The paintings depict landscapes of faces and bodies colliding, knotted and crammed into compact compositions in which the surface serves to limit their proliferation. This tension, which enmeshes and divides them can, for example, be seen in the painting Chemical Romancewhere it takes the form of a protruding tongue exploring facial cavities to encroach upon.
The characters in Bailly-Borg’s work are both ambiguous and atemporal. They are non-gendered, sexual and they could originate from either a medieval manuscript or from Japanese erotic art. The characters in her work easily hop from one medium to another. Alongside paintings, the artist works across a variety of techniques, but whether it’s ceramics, painting or glass she considers them as mere canvasses on which she can depict her work: it’s not the medium that’s in charge.
The title of the exhibition Pruinescence takes its meaning from a glaucous and dusty layer on the surface of an organ, plant or animal and references the artist’s interest in layers within painting and the importance of texture in her work. The artist likes to leave clues on the presence of these layers in her work by adding silk paper on the surface of the canvas or by painting on glass. Pruinescence normally acts as a protective layer, that the organism creates itself. Yet, it is also a fragile layer because it can easily be wiped away, revealing the true colour underneath.