Press Release

Locks Gallery is pleased to present Seeing in the Dark, an exhibition of new paintings by British artist Kate Bright. The gallery has represented the artist since 2005, and this will be Bright’s sixth solo show at the gallery. Bright continues her interest in vibrant depictions of flora, while treading into new territory.

Throughout her career, Bright has remained attuned to nature. Whereas much of her previous work was hyper-stylized and featured compositions nearing abstraction, her current body of work centers around “cultivated plants growing rogue” as “escapees from the domesticated environment.”

In a shrinking world during the pandemic, the common and the everyday suddenly become the limited horizon. For the artist, daily travel on foot led to obsession with small details.

A change in the color of a door or the flowering of a tree now mark notable transformations and become significant markers in the rhythm of the neighborhood. In this series, the approach to boundaries between private and public spaces is blurred. These compositions feature lush entanglement, where a jumble of plants are unruly and impenetrable, rendering a claustrophobic space.

Alongside a marking of territory the built environment is punctuated with pockets of the natural. The unruly, uncontainable, unbiddable directly oppose our desire for order, containment, and with it structure. Self seeders creep down the lane, twisting through the hedges cracking the tarmac. Here are places that exist only when you stand before them, that are woven from yesterday, today and tomorrow. Places that might be or might not be, render the everyday unfamiliar, just as the constant repetition of one word becomes an abstract noise.

A digital catalogue for this exhibition is available, which features an essay by Christopher Reed, Distinguished Professor of English and Visual Culture at Penn State. Please contact the gallery for details.

Kate Bright (b. 1964) lives and works in London, UK. Her paintings explore the natural and human landscape, combining actuality with an idealistic sensibility. Bright employs the mutable to suggest an illusory experience, expanding the possibilities of contemporary realism and the artifice of figuration. Her recent work places re-imagined and re-defined space as a self-reflexive painted world. The interaction between the land as private or playground, as a resource or as balm, reflects a state of mind that cannot exist without a sense of place.

Bright studied at Camberwell School of the Art and Goldsmiths College and is currently a lecturer at the Slade School of Fine Art at the University College of London. The artist has had solo exhibitions at the Centro Internacional de Arte de Salamanca, Spain; The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK; Vitamin Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy; and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK. Bright was notably included in the British Art Show in 1990, a major traveling survey exhibition showcasing contemporary art held every five years in the UK.

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