This new body of work considers the role of imagined natural spaces as both means of idealised escape from our reality, and as a reflection of our paradoxical relationship with nature: how we connect with it, attempt to control it, and damage it.
Blue’s paintings begin with a loose contour. The oil paint is either diluted to act like watercolour, applied in washes, scrubbed with rags or thickened to a clay or cement-like consistency that is slicked and scratched. The canvas is treated like a drawing on paper: the process of making the work is open to the viewer in the translucent layers and visibly scrubbed out marks. The subjects weave together, emerging and dissolving into the canvas.
Associative layers of memory converge to create subjects that are familiar yet ultimately unplaceable. The narratives are fragmented and contradictory, carrying both the idyllic and the sinister. Line and colour connect the figures to their setting; twisting and turning forms of the body mirroring those of the trees and swimmers become part of the reflective appearance of the water.
Dreamlike scenes of the figure at one with nature are tainted by real-life knowledge of our impact on the natural world. The sinuous seductive brushwork of the trees distracts from their sparse deadness; splintered branches, blood red or ash-grey. Human presence encroaches on the natural spaces; crowds and fences cutting across the landscape; cultivating or controlling, protecting or destroying.