HANG EACH NIGHT IN RAPTURE
9 June – 15 July 2023
Preview Thursday 8 June 7pm-9pm
A solo exhibition of new large scale oil paintings by Emma Richardson, reflecting her interest in themes relating to desire, transcendence and connection.
‘Hang Each Night in Rapture’, the title taken from a lyric in the 1980s track Rapture by US band Blondie, references the after-life of paintings that were once the site of frenzied performance and activity and now hang quietly holding that history, awaiting the active gaze of the viewer.
Biblical, Blake-like, reminiscent of Renaissance, Richardson effortlessly subverts old master technique and in doing so creates veils of space, light and form that appear suspended upon the surface. Oil paint is delicately tensed, flicked and slid across the canvas to create webs and trails of possible bodily or celestial matter. A contemporary interpretation of an imagined metaphysical realm.
Richardson seems to be painting emergences, or gatherings of fluidity in paint to express her ideas and research about female desire and she draws on work by artists focusing on the female experience, surrealism, self-expression and the spiritual such as Hilma af Klint, Dorothea Tanning, Paula Rego, Maria Lassnig, Cecily Brown, Georgia O’Keeffe and Joan Mitchell.
Her painting also refers to the powerful forces of the natural world as a metaphor for our fears and uncertainties living in the modern world and how this drives us to find reassurance, meaning and connection with others in new and changing ways. For this she turns to artists dealing with dramatic scenes such as John Martin, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bosch, Turner, Rubens, Tiepolo, and Blake.