Beverley Knowles Fine Art is pleased to present the recent works of Franki Austin and Sara Willett.
The work of these two artists, when seen together, seems to represent the beginnings of a convergence of ideas within a divergence of aesthetic tools. There is a coming together and a pulling apart. The overall result strives towards a balance.
Franki Austin is a painter, an etcher of glass and a poet. She became interested in Eastern art and culture while living in Hong Kong, Malaysia and India. As a western artist encountering eastern thought she found the juxtaposition of values offered a rich seam to explore through her work. These kinds of relationships and spaces - between societies, times and individuals - became her subject and her work has often taken the form of interactive installation.
For this exhibition, Franki Austin is creating veiled, metallic paintings and panels of etched glass. For the wall mounted etched glass panels she uses a powerful visual motif of birds in flight, here used with great subtlety to suggest transitional states. At first glance the birds might appear to be painted directly onto the wall so fine is the etching. Seen from another angle however and the delicate etching becomes apparent whilst the shadows fade away. This visual shift hints at the in-between, the movement from presence to absence and back again.
Sara Willett's paintings, at first sight, couldn't be more different. Working on a substantial scale Sara uses heavy boards, onto which she systematically layers acrylic paint. She then returns to interrupt the layering by excavating into the acrylic with repeated circular gestures. The results are bold and intense, visually mesmerising tonal paintings that emerge from what might almost be obsessive compulsion. But, as with Franki's work, a visual ambiguity is manifest. The repetitive gouged hollows swarm across the surface, light on dark, to confuse the eye and trick the brain.
In the work of both artists simplicity and complexity are brought together very successfully. Both create visual poetry - one ethereal and light, the other intense and dark. Both speak of the crossing of boundaries, the in-between, the unburdened, the beautiful point of coming together that is neither one thing nor the other.
Sara Willett received a first class honours degree in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art in 2002. Since then her work has appeared in a series of highly respected group and solo exhibitions internationally.
Franki Austin studied Fine Art at the University of Hong Kong, at Central St. Martins College of Art (BA Hons) and at the University of Plymouth (M.Phil). She exhibits internationally and her work is in private and public collections around the world.
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