Mercer Chance is proud to present an exhibition of luscious and vibrant works by two young painters who - over the last year - have grown together as friends and found inspiration in each other.
A shared fascination with botanical forms provided the starting point, but once the two began to meet and paint together in gardens and parks across London, they discovered a network of themes and ideas which seemed to branch ever outward in each others presence.
Soon, the notion of ‘the garden’ emerged as not only a physical space where the two could escape, but also a metaphorical space; a way of being that could be cultivated wherever and whenever they met.
“Like honey bees we draw close to the yawning flowers, we get pollen on our noses as we sniff, we feel the the silk of their petals and inspect the organs inside of the corolla. We share a space to explore in a tactile, immersive way. We become like children hiding in long grasses away from the judgement and interference of adults. In the presence of nature and each other, we find our ‘garden’: a place of enclosure and security, yet with space enough to run wild and grow tall.” -Rachel Mercer
Both artists seemed to be striving toward a way of reconnecting with nature through the act of painting, whether through close observation and contemplation of natural form, or by embodying the spirit of growth through succulent mark-making.
Both also became increasingly aware of the erotic quality of flowering plants, and the way in which they seemed expressive of feminine sexuality in particular. This led them to consider not only the importance of a sensual communion with nature for the contemporary woman, but also the ways in which women had felt such a connection throughout history. The garden could be a space of delicate touches, of furtive passions and whispered blasphemies, of laughter and stories, of stretched time and pure pleasures unrelated to the mean functionality of everyday life.
text by Michael Chance
Mercer Chance Gallery,
253 Hoxton St,
0207 033 6559