Geraldine Swayne: Silvering

28 March - 19 April 2017

We are proud to present an exhibition of paintings by the artist Geraldine Swayne. Drawing together recent works on  canvas, aluminium and copper, these works are suggestive and mysterious.  People on the verge of action populate Geraldine's paintings, like film stills. The atmosphere is thick with tension and heightened emotion yet the narrative is obscured, like entering a room where a television has been left paused. The scenes are often awkward, haunting, sexy, bizarre, dark, or amusing - maybe all at once. Her oblique narrative references allow the viewer to project their own story on to the works.


The immediacy of Swayne's work is evident in both her massive canvases, covered in lose, acrylic brushwork, and the intimate miniatures, painted in quick drying enamels. The self-portrait Great Big Slag particularly demonstrates the raw haste with which Swayne ejects her inner thoughts. There is a subtle brevity of form and lightness of touch to Swayne's style which aligns her with artists such as Edgar Degas, and more recently Chantal Joffe, Ron Kitaj, and Marlene Dumas.


In all the works in this exhibition there is an attention to the surface quality and material value of the work. The artist has cited Nicholas Hilliard as an influence in seeking to make paintings that are also inherently beautiful objects. Some of the larger works use silver and gold grounds that anticipate the artist's use of aluminium and copper surfaces. Swayne deftly manipulates this unforgiving medium so that, in her own words, 'they almost look good enough to eat'.