is happy to announce SET PIECE the second solo show at the gallery of
the Scottish artist Caroline Walker. The fifteen works on show express a
line of inquiry on the illusionistic space of painting and its
connection to depictions of public and private environments often
peopled by women.
The starting point for each painting is a single coloured ground that heightens the theatricality of the work. Tromp l’oeil, wallpapers, paintings within paintings and human figures juxtaposed to disintegrate into abstraction at certain point. A dripping of paint or dissolving brushstrokes reminding the viewer that the space created in the paintings is a fictional one. They are places charged with the expectation of an impending narrative, but are left in limbo, with no clear resolution. The viewer is instead placed between a painted ‘reality’ and that which originated as an imitation of real life, though which is no longer clear in the finished paintings.
The women in the paintings seem complicit in this deception – as though they might be engaged in some ritualistic practice, which results in this merging between the real and imagined. Caroline Walker
Drawing on the historical connection between women and ‘magic’ through the female archetypes of the witch, sorceress or enchantress, the paintings reference both realist painting and the dreamscapes of symbolism.
In the artist practice, the theme of veiling, concealment and surveillance is recurrent. Characters in the paintings watch each other, await an unseen presence, or literally control each other’s sight. In one unpopulated scene, the viewer becomes the subject of the gaze; a security camera at the focal point of the painting.
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