I was thrilled when Vanessa Lacey, Irving Contemporary, visited my studio recently. She was selecting work for a forthcoming group exhibition in September – October 2020 and we were able to have preliminary conversations ahead of my solo show with the gallery in May – June next year.
During the visit, I showed fledgling work emerging from recent experimentations with new processes. We moved paintings around and Vanessa brought her expert eye to the collection. We had a lot of fun as we thought, talked, and laughed together. Vanessa identified visual connections between works that I hadn’t seen or anticipated. Paintings and drawings in storage were brought out and looked at afresh. I was reminded of the magic of in-person conversations and the importance of reviewing a body of work in its entirety.
Conversations with collectors, artists, creative professionals, gallerists and art consultants are essential to my practice. I love listening to different individuals’ experiences of, and connection with, the paintings. It helps me understand how paintings resonate and live in the world. This is turn pushes, stretches and drives my practice forwards, hopefully making it more meaningful.
In recent months, with exhibitions and fairs on hiatus, these conversations are sparse and even more precious. Artists have been gathering online to think and process together or simply drink wine and chat. We often discuss a particular painting, or any studio challenges, yet a digital image of a painting is not the same as seeing it in the flesh. It is also rare that an entire body of work is reviewed at once.
Vanessa’s visit has helped clarify the visual lexicon of marks, textures, forms emerging in my work as well as some of the conceptual underpinnings. I look forward to sharing these new pieces as they emerge and to hearing your thoughts.