The paintings of Mark Jackson walk a tightrope between abstraction and figuration, his figures emerging from a tangle of ideas, processes and material transformations, that result in autonomous figures who remain mysteriously mute and totemic.
When looking at an image of a face, real or not, we are psychologically influenced to experience emotions in response to their expressions. The tiny, intimate paintings of Corinna Spencer are comprised of a series of droops, smudges and wonky facial features. Her luscious paint marks powerfully evoking internal emotions of turmoil, joy, sadness, loss and pain. They are the complexities of real life conjured in the imaginary face.
Within the traditional understanding of portraiture; the representation of a person is usually conveyed through showing a person’s face. Diverse information is extracted from a single glance, their emotional expression communicated through the posturing of facial elements. In contrast Wendy Saunders’ predominately female faces are largely featureless, yet they are able to provoke a deeper intuitive response that goes beyond simple interpretation. The seeming simplicity of the painted line expressing attitude and personality that negates the need for superfluous mark making.
Approaching the face from different places; each artist subtly interacts with our past familiarity of facial visual experience. Sasha Bowles takes on the role of artist as collaborator, working in alliance with the past. Presented within a crate/museum, her work intervenes on printed reproductions of old master portraits; re-presenting and subverting their classical narratives, she cloaks the figures to open up new interpretations.
In exploring our subconscious desire to see human forms in the world around us Sue William’s A’Court borrows from Arcadian landscapes to create ‘portraits’, playing with the ideas of identity and perception to question reality. The resulting ‘portraits’ are landscapes of our own imagination, a state of mind rather than a specific location.
By distorting our normal propensity of understanding and processing of a face; we are forced to look deeper and experience an emotional understanding conveyed through the artist’s connection to their subject matter.
Featuring: Mark Jackson | Sue Williams A'Court | Sasha Bowles | Wendy Saunders | Corinna Spencer