Hygge is a Danish word without translation in the English language. It describes the soothing traditions of home - particularly the sensation of joy the Danes experience when coming home into the warmth out of a cold night. Akin to the Freudian double reading of heimlich/unheimlich, this word evokes ideas of nostalgia and cosiness but with undercurrents of a dangerous familiarity, a claustrophobic unease.
The indefinability of the word is entirely appropriate to the practice of painting. The sense of invitation coupled with a kind of slippage and resistance to being pinned down is an integral part of making and looking at paintings. In the artists chosen for this show there is an overt reaching out towards something very human and familiar, coupled with an edge of complete unknowableness, the dangerous territory of uncertainty.