Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
54b/c Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 5AF

These three artists share an open studio space that has a shared creative and dynamic force. Although not a cohesive group with regards content or manner, they share certain characteristics within their practice. All are representational painters and look at photographs or reproductions as a stimulus. They use their work to interpret, read and understand reproductions through conscious processing and re-imaging in paint. Not in a cynical or ironic manner, but more in a spirit of elegy, warmth and a search for what might be poetic.

Zena Blackwell investigates the mad, anxiety-ridden and messy moments of raising children. She works from archived photographs as well as immediate drawing from a motif. Her selection of image, the simplification of form and the heightened use of flat intense colour can create a feeling of estrangement and disquiet. This is compounded by the composition and cropping, which can often cofound and intrigue.

Lara Davies is very much concerned with meanings of reproduction, selection and mimesis. Her paintings of other artist’s paintings reproduced in books act as a kind of homage (of which she describes herself as a sort of (‘tribute band’). The shifts in scale, the attention to not just the ‘painting’ but also the quality of a papers sheen and the quality of falling light creates interesting contradictions as well a richness.

Rhiannon Davies works with film and photographs that possess values of nostalgia and feminism as potential themes. She is interested in how action can be highly charged with ambiguity when stilled by the lens. Her narrative groups of people are a cross between Russ Meyer’s Vixen and Poussin’s bacchanals. The paintings are often made in muted tones and a soft focused manner which adds to this ambiguity.