Studio Stories

Bodman, Virginia (2017) Studio Stories. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract

Virginia Bodman is fascinated by the histories and processes of painting and often uses colour and the materiality of paint as critical tools, making aesthetically provocative work to stimulate debate about painting and social issues.

Studio Stories is part of The Customs House Gallery’s Year of the Artist, which will focus on artists careers via a timeline and in this case a selection of work made since Bodman’s last Customs House exhibition, Home Ground in 2006. The exhibition is in two parts; in the main galleries the earliest work WoodLight, is the culmination of a series of paintings based on photographs that the artist took of the landscape at the margins of the small Wiltshire farm where she grew up. In paintings such as Lola in Green and Float, figures borrowed from Edouard Manet’s Lola de Valence and John Everitt Millais’ Ophelia are inserted into these landscapes and are rendered almost invisible in the woodlands and ponds that are transformed through the use of oil paint into dense, often un-nameable forms and unreliable spaces. The paintings explore ‘ownership’ of land and hint at the invisibility felt by many older women.

Paintings such as New Order and The Good & The Bad are from a group of paintings called Domestic Bliss, (2006-17). They reference a variety of familiar domestic items such as fabric, furniture and even the humble cabbage and suggest that something might be amiss in this all too familiar place.

Costume Drama and Assembly, the first and last of an extensive group of paintings many of which were shown in Light/Dark/Dark/Light, Globe Gallery, Newcastle, 2014. The L/D/D/L works re-imagine pictorial spaces and images taken from TV costume drama and other contemporary and historic sources including fashion photography, Western and Eastern art and echo Storm Jameson’s approach to writing novels, taking characters and situations from different eras and contexts to explore contemporary issues. Costume Drama takes the need to imagine an escape route from the mundane everyday as its starting point. Assembly (F) subverts the family group photographic genre to suggest that those missing at the point the picture was taken may also be present. Untitled (Cliffs) 1 & 2 and Small Cliffs see the artist using figure forms that disintegrate and reform – elements of these paintings are based on the drawings that she made of the sea stacks found off the coast between Sunderland and South Shields.

For the artist the studio is a powerful place, a place to imagine and tell stories, a space that can be a landscape, a body, a dance floor, it’s somewhere to reflect on life away from the everyday. In the Upper Fusion Gallery Virginia Bodman offers a first glimpse of recent work from the ongoing series Studio Stories, (2015-) in these circular drawings on canvas are based on objects that she made from discarded paintings and other studio detritus.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Subjects: Fine Art > Painting
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 10:19
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 10:19
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/7375

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