Locks Gallery is pleased to present Edge Lands, a show of new and recent paintings by British painter Kate Bright. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, March 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Edge Lands, her fourth solo exhibition, marks a decade in which Bright has been represented by the gallery.
Bright is known for landscape paintings that have utilized a range of collage elements: glitter, polystyrene balls, resin, or glass. In a 2001 interview with Stephen Hepworth she stated, “The glitter, from the moment I picked it up, was screaming to be sunshine…” This earnest association with the material, removed from its associations with craft and kitsch, allows her to evoke her own desire for visual surprise within the experience of a painting.
The “edge” in Bright’s work is twofold: figuratively as the cusp or failure of realism in painting and also literally in the edges of the landscape where shrubs, vines, and plant life grow wildly. The works constantly remind us of their two dimensionality through their collaged surfaces: a simulacrum of experience beyond painterly representation.
The perspective of Bright’s previously exhibited winter paintings gazed down snow-covered paths with distinct vanishing points or looked up at snow covered branches against a blue sky. These new works look downwards, inwards, and through brambles. Visually tangled, they are marked by a more realistic hand but also a disorienting abstraction. The branches become elegant line drawings from afar. Occasionally they are smothered with both the depicted snow and thick layers of Bright’s glitter, but other times left under the weight of their own image with little to no glitter to be seen.
Bright’s approach is indebted to the art historical traditions of romantic landscape painting, reflecting the mythic experience and desire for beauty we attribute to the landscape as much as the place itself. Moreover, in an era where art increasingly lives online and through photographs, Bright’s snow paintings defy photographic simplification and must truly be appreciated by the naked eye.