For LAF Edit in January 2021 we unveil a selection of work by Grace O’Connor depicting imagined scenes from the thwarted (and true) love story between Edward James (1907-1984) and Tilly Losch (1903-1975).
Edward James was a British poet known for his patronage of the surrealist art movement, Tilly Losch a beguiling Austrian ballerina. Edward James fell hopelessly in love with Tilly Losch. He idolised her beauty and grace which manifested itself chiefly in his poetry. Their life is portrayed in imagined scenes which hint at the passion they once held for each-other, but which slowly dwindled during the four years of their marriage. In these paintings Tilly is an ephemeral spirit who becomes a mirage in James’ life. She is reimagined as a starling, a siren and a ghostly cipher through which James’ loss and pain is felt. But she is also a dynamic presence, intent on creating her own persona at a time when breaking free of traditional women’s values, such as family and feminine restraint, were considered scandalous. Her identity is both elusive and absolute, exalted with James’ passionate devotion. Losch is both a singular presence and an abstraction in these works.
(The gallery will present the full exhibition Scenes from a Marriage by Grace O'Connor later in 2021.)
Fred Coppin (b. 1989) captures an eternal sense of optimism in his work through a distinctive combination of amplified colour and playful forms, in which he exaggerates the world into a permanently dream-like state that allows us, as viewers, to linger in a moment of utopian calm. Through exploring an eclectic range of unassuming everyday objects, Coppin’s paintings are tied together by an uplifting impulse to dissect, exaggerate and reassemble the world around us into its most hopeful state. Coppin’s work is rooted in his desire for rationale. As an over-thinker who often struggles to have a still mind, his calming motifs and refinement of complex images into simple shape and colour, treads a careful balance between energy and quietness. There is invariably light in Fred’s paintings, both literally and metaphorically. The places he paints, while being palpable, embody a sense of the exotic, and an element of the fantastical, making them alluring and irresistible.
There is no defined narrative in the work of Charlotte Edsell. These paintings are an invitation for the artist and the viewer to delve; to contemplate a sense of time and place and suspend themselves momentarily in the feeling of memory.Charlotte chooses not to define between abstract and figurative, but instead is interested in being responsive to her emotional impetus. Both premeditated and intuitive marks are in play. She embraces both reason and mysticism in her pursuit. She is responsive to sudden insights, which can surprise her. Her paintings contain shadowy versions of objects or places, mash ups of interior, exterior views with distorted perspectives, memories, referencing her love of nature and architecture.
Pippa Blake makes atmospheric paintings about moving through the landscape; the fleeting glimpses this reveals and the emotional journeys it triggers. She is drawn to the enigmatic quality of light at dusk, the horizon and the brief snapshots of landscapes that she experiences whilst travelling. After a lifetime spent travelling, it makes sense that journeys - both literal and metaphorical – have become key elements in Pippa’s work. The idea that the landscape can be a metaphor for the mind and its contents has profoundly shaped the way she approaches her subject matter, acknowledging that her paintings are the outer expressions of her inner feelings. They are a search for something intangible, something in the space at the edge of our experience, in the gap between the conscious and the subliminal.