Private View: 4th August 2017, 7-9pm
Exhibition continues until the 13th August 2017
open by appointment.
Escape to the Country is Evie OíConnorís first solo show, conceived when she made the decision to move back to her hometown of Glossop in the High Peaks of Derbyshire. Being back in a familiar space rooted in her adolescence, whilst simultaneously living within a new narrative, has informed this new series of works, that are derived from direct experiences of the specific landscape and her interpretation of familiarity.
The past year has seen her exoticize and abstract her environment. Themes of isolation, class, self-examination and identity are explored within her body of work. The sense of isolation which is both trapping and liberating is heavily romanticised, with her reclusive nature prompting this reoccurring act of examination and translations of others close to her. Favouring people as the main subject of her work, the lone figures help direct her and create new versions of those close figures in her life into the surroundings. Her portraits acknowledge traditional themes of portraiture as a precious form of documentation whilst offering a self-taught, unaffected naivety.
With a background in fashion and textiles, she is critically engaged with the use of colour and proportion and this knowledge has heavily informed the stylistic and decorative qualities within her work, as well as the idea of purpose for those figures and landscapes. Colour is a significant language to her and an evocative colour palette is essential to engage with the surface, as well as a device used to signal her re-imagining of bodies within what is both a beautiful and droll environment.
Her own nostalgia and personal attachment cannot be overlooked, alongside the idea of critically exploring a terrain she has returned to as a young woman, especially that of her familyís class and identity. These narratives all unfold within the paintings along with references to regurgitated childhood memories, placed through subtle surreal motifs and unconventional decorative elements.