AboutPale Blue & Green
This exhibition presents work by two artists who create paintings and sculptures which exist at different points of withdrawal from the alchemical potential of their respective mediums. Playing with the different degrees to which conventional markers of merit, such as skill and virtuosity, can be abandoned, these artists focus their attention on the prospect of reinventing relationships of colour and form.
Jess Flood-Paddock's practice incorporates painting, sculpture and video. For this exhibition she shows a group of unfired clay sculptures which experiment with the minimum gestures required to model everyday items. A crude figuration is rendered, a process which highlights the difficulty of reconciling the physicality of objects with the knowledge of their infinite complexity (seen in work depicting a pile of newspapers or a mobile phone). Other works are based upon objects which already have a close resemblance to clay in its nascent state, are re-sized versions of worn out monuments, or replicas of broken-off architectural features. Some work is made by anticipation of shrink cracking in clay of a certain length. An exacerbating of the material's physical limitations is used as a technique for getting closer to its particularities.
Sarah Cooney's oil paintings seek to explore the expressive capabilities of non-representational painting. Through a frenetic variation of mark, texture, opacity, density and colour, the paintings suggest that within a stringent set of limitations there is never-ending possibility. A system for making paintings is employed which requires that with every new painting the artist expands upon her existing vocabulary of marks. The result is an intense field of painterly negotiations, scatterings of colour, and erratic passages of paint. The work is a demonstration of possibility itself, where the next painting is very close to the previous, while still providing a renewed visual experience.
The artists in this exhibition navigate a lively and irreverent relationship to the materiality of clay and paint. Notions of accountability and explicit content are disregarded in favour of unlocking latent possibilities in the usage of the medium. The idea of the artwork as a site of free-play is embraced as a way to energise both the making and viewing process.
Jess Flood Paddock studied at the Slade (BA Fine Art 2000) and the Royal College of Art (MA Sculpture 2005). Her work has featured in several group shows nationally including Members Show, The Russian Club Gallery, London, 2009; New Works, Stand Point Gallery, London, 2008; Transformer, Woburn Square, 2007; New Contemporaries, London and Liverpool 2006.
Sarah Cooney studied at Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (BA Hons Fine Art 2005) and the Royal College of Art (MA Painting 2008). Recent group shows include Pretty Deep (inside your head), The Royal Standard, Liverpool, 2009; Winter Salon, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin, 2008; Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Shoreditch Town Hall, London, 2008; Spent, Three Colts Gallery, London, 2007