Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Needle's Eye, BayArt Gallery, Cardiff

Curated by Ruth Solomons
Kim Baker, Louisa Chambers, Lisa McKendrick, Ben Walker
 Private View: Saturday 22nd September 2012

These four artists present four needles' eyes. Kim Baker distils a subject matter of classical and romantic connotations through her sensory interpretation of colour and lyrical form. Her paintings expand this beyond an initial formal approach to gestural expressive brushwork, into an intense grappled world of floral painterly complexity. Ben Walker similarly narrows his source material into an emotional response conveyed through painterly expression. But contrastingly Ben Walker's instinct is to erase all but the most profound and essential details. Louisa Chambers' paintings seem to present an alternative universe where authoritarian structures of technology/science fiction are hijacked by absurd anthropomorphic embellishment. Similarly Lisa McKendrick fills her paintings with quixotic imagery which wilfully resist the laws of physics and elude a readable narrative. For both Lisa McKendrick and Louisa Chambers the needle's eye makes allowable a child-like and intuitive playfulness, opening up a surreal psychological playground in which to set their imaginations free. The four artists presented here are all working with ideas of impossibility. Symbology, gesture, emotion and playfulness push each of their subject sources through the eye of a needle into works of vast connotation and visual richness.
Ruth Solomons 2012

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Transmitter, 2011, acrylic on paper, 21 x 30 cm
Optics was completed alongside my Vessel series about a year ago in my East London studio. As well as the Alchemist laboratory I was also looking at optical devices such as early camera obscuras, telescopes and microscopes. The majority of these artworks and etchings were created by artists, mathematicians and architects from the Renaissance period such as Albrecht Durer, Leonardo da Vinci and Athanasius Kircher. I was also interested in the visual studies of early microscopes made by lesser known figures from the 17th and 18th Century such as Martin Frobenius Ledermüller and Louis Joblot.
 Rhombus and Rectangular, 2011, acrylic on paper, 30 x 21 cm

The Golden Projector, 2011, acrylic on paper, 30 x 21 cm
Planet, 2011, acrylic on paper, 25 x 18 cm

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


This series of paintings entitled Vessels were created just before I started the PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) a year ago. I was researching into Alchemy in particular focusing on the devices that were used by the early chemists to create their liquids and substances. These devices often described in etchings or engravings were symbolic to other mythological references. For example, the womb was represented as a vessel. I was interested in the devices themselves, as magical machines often dreamt up in the early chemist or Alchemists workshop who were aiming to reach higher spiritual planes.
Clock, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 30 x 25 cm 
Transformation, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 41 x 30 cm
Hive I, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 41 x 36 cm
Hive II, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 41 x 36 cm