We are pleased to present our current exhibition Islands of the Blest by The Violet Hour.
With inspirations from London’s Adelphi quarter, five emerging artists come together for this exhibition named after an excerpt from Lord Byron’s The Isles of Greece, playing with the idea of permanence and transition.
The figure of Pythia, the oracle priestess at Delphi, weaves into the motifs that permeate Nicholas Johnson’s oeuvre; vision-inducing reflective pools, heady vapours and the underlying promise of decay, reclamation and repurpose. A closer look at the surfaces of his paintings reveals physical detritus and relief.
The feverish hues in Michael O Reilly’s works appear to ooze and weep from the canvases, whilst beneath the surface the works throb with a heat that hums and buzzes. Islands set in salty, swampy backwaters stand still amongst calamitous yet considered brushstrokes and motifs melt in a close, steady process of decay.
Another variation on mortality, Blaze Cyan portrays ancient trees as decaying and eroded landmarks, totems holding a sense of time within themselves. Appearing half dead, some are completely hollowed out and yet still live, this ambiguity between life and death seems to transcend mortality, something that exists outside the normal parameters of reality.
The observations of the odd and out of place in Kathryn Maple’s layered works seem to grow from the paper. Again, the surfaces change in rhythm, with areas of clear translucency and worked, near-woven pockets.
Like the unattainable, fleeting ideal of paradise, Jane Ward’s pieces are composed of fragments of prints, repeatedly broken down, collaged and scratched away again, creating a state of place that is constantly in flux, like a digital sand dune that shapeshifts and eludes us.
The exhibition will be showing at The Strand Gallery from 26th – 31st May, 11am – 6pm. For more information please visit: http://www.theviolethour.org