OPEN: 22 September - 21 October
Wed-Sat 10-3pm, Sat 10-6pm
BEARSPACE is pleased to present works by South East London artist, Bella Easton. This exhibition will showcase the recent work of Easton made during 2016-17 with larger original panel works and smaller collectible pieces.
Easton makes large-scale immersive installations formed from small-scale drawings of personal places. Recent work investigates her home interior, isolating elements through symmetrical dissection. A fireplace, a standing lamp or small fragments of wallpaper are then reconfigured into ‘whole’ new environments through a geometric grid made up of hundreds of panels.
She states, ‘these symmetrical dissections are equals and rely on each other to co-exist. My method is a kind of controlled spontaneity generating abstract effects into a figurative ground. Each section has its own personality, so that when the panels are spliced together, harmonies and dissonances arise, forming relationships.’
This is a recent body of work related to BREATH, a symmetrical installation that mirrors, repeats and distorts reality into an immersive moonlit thicket of flowers. Conjured lens flares, intentional glitches and monochrome turned into multicolour are elements reminiscent of the digital world and where the nonsensical turns into a convincing logic.
Using the traditional techniques, oil on linen or copper plate etching, Easton reworks each section individually using weight, pressure and touch to offset the marks and then splices the pairs together to a complete composition. The final piece has the sense of a room or fragmented landscape which evokes memory, but also a distortion of history, as all elements have been disjointed, transformed and reflected, as if a magnetic force has pushed or pulled the elements together or apart.
‘This fragmenting and reassembling of the image’ says Easton, ‘pulls the viewer in and out of the surfaces, absorbing them into its layered history’.
Referencing the 19th century parlour game, Myriorama, where landscape picture cards could be reconfigured to create multiple compositions, Easton uses the domestic interior to do the same. In these works the intimacy of the interior is fragmented, and the process applies a further distorting and distancing.
Easton also relates this to her creative process by the unpicking, interrupting and embracing contradiction within her method, allowing the works to reconfigure from a literal interpretation of the subject, giving new meaning through the displacement and opposing or attracting panels.
These works represent an interesting transition as the dichotomy of our heritage exaggerates and transforms, taking on new meaning as we remember it, or look to shape it into a new reality.
Here the real and familiar becomes curious and esoteric.
Bella Easton is an artist and curator living and working in South East London. Educated at Royal Academy Schools, recent exhibitions include the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, SCOTTY, Berlin, Cultural Centre, Athens; Spaced Out, ENIA Gallery, Athens, Greece; The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and The Future Can Wait curated by Zavier Ellis & Simon Rumley. She curates under BEASTON Projects, having previously run a project space in Deptford alongside her own artistic practice. In September 2017 the artist is curating Arts Council Funded project ‘Collateral Drawing 5’ at Strange Cargo in Folkestone and ‘Collateral Drawing Archive’ in Margate and Folkestone, which includes artists Rose Wylie, Gary Hume, Tim Noble, Glenn Brown & Ryan Gander.
Image credit: Bella Easton, BREATH (cropped), Oil on 192 Linen Panels, 320 x 222cm, 2017