About'Lyons's work combines a strong sense of book-history with her individual talent for telling human stories through striking images'
Dr Francis Leneghan, Lecturer in Medieval Literature, University of Oxford
Lyons's exhibition, Love in Palimpsests, creates connections between works separated by time and medium - paintings, books, and frames - to present a shimmering, open-ended exploration narrative of the threshold between the self and the other. In this exhibition, visual documents portraying both past and present evoke more than can be said out loud.
'Life, memory, history and art are by their nature selective, and with this comes a creative process. When we remember, we create anew as much as we memorialise. I want to explore in painting a mirror of these processes and their consequences.'
In the first show exhibiting her unusual craft, Lyons applies a renewed understanding of the 'palimpsest', an object or image that reveals different histories through the rewriting and partial erasing of a narrative, particularly used during times of social upheaval.
Lyons presents a portrait across different moments that continue to evolve past this exhibition. Consisting of six books built up over years of creation, this exhibition links fifty paintings and two sculptures that reflect a multitude of experiences in art and life.
Book one explores notions of personal memories; book two, the creative process in art, the shared social contexts and the memory of art. This book reflects Lyons belief that the way we remember art and history changes our perceptions of today and enriches today's imagination for tomorrow.
Lyons's third book Always Already examines the building of a narrative in contrast to the stillness and transience of a single image. The fourth book considers memories of love, titled Love found in art is unconditional and is inspired by the idea of Cupid's 12 arrows: 6 signifying the sins of love and 6 the joys of love. Lyons's fifth book examines memories of a portrait through the lens of remembering landscapes.
The sixth book is about sharing ideas of how to make art and asks the question 'what stories do you see in these works?' Through this conceptually collaborative work, Josephine literally presents how âthe world is our palette, we share art''.
The final book on display in the exhibition will be made from contributions by the public, other artists and Lyons, and asks what new memories are stirred by the artworks. This collaborative book brings the exhibition to full circle, joining new memories with old, and emphasising how memory is in constant transition.
Lyons' subjects of choice: memories, inheritance and imagination are explored through collaged photographs, text and paintings. These highly personal works reflect how Lyons sees painting as giving a personal way of seeing, remembering and recalling the world, a relevant topic as imagery and recorded memory increasingly become virtual.