In this exhibition, the six artists all turn to colour to explore the complexities of contemporary society.
Drawn to the use of bright colours often associated with concepts of joy and happiness, they explore more dark or problematic subject matters. Their painting practices often skillfully address contemporary issues in, on the surface, aesthetically ‘lighthearted’ ways, helping to make difficult topics more approachable.
It is believed that colour, when used correctly, holds many healing properties. From helping to heal chronic pain to stimulating oxygen in the body, to helping you sleep and decreasing anxiety. As we continue to learn more and more about the psychological reasons behind why we have certain relationships with particular colours, it remains that our reactions to colours are so personal and closely related to our own experience.
A strong focus on the materiality of their practices has been employed by each of the artists in this exhibition. Through their love of materiality and colour, they explore issues effecting contemporary society such as the pressures of social media and how this effects our view of the body, the mental health crisis, and feelings of being completely overwhelmed. From exploring memories to thinking about politics, colour provides a positive bridge to help us explore, meditate over, and talk about more painful issues in easier ways.
In painting, colour and humour can be used to explore complicated subject matters, or as a coping mechanism for the overwhelmingness of existing in modern times. From being inspired by Northern Ireland’s tradition of using dark humour to cope with a troubled past to using symbolic colours to explore gender stereotypes, each artist has found ways of using colour as a positive way of making sense of the world, coping with its chaos.
As an international group of artists from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, these artists are interested in connotations associated with particular colours, and how this can vary cross culturally. Colour can be used as self-expression in a search for a personal or collective freedom and, when used in unconventional ways, can be an effective means of challenging stereotypes.
A painting can act as a love letter to a particular colour. We can be closely attached to certain colours, and not always know why. Colour is strongly linked to emotion and, through painting, we can creating a map of emotion, tracking it over time.
Colour can also be used as a form of escapism, and this exhibition highlights some ways in which it can help us not only escape but also give us the strength to tackle problems straight on.
The artists in this exhibition invite you to take a step back and then let the colour draw you in.