Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne
Vane presents work by three artists who examine our attempts – and failures – to communicate with one another.
Maria Chevska’s paintings draw upon texts, from poetry to novels, to create her narratives: a conversation the viewer can only partially grasp. Small objects accompanying the paintings are referred to as telepaths: an oblique reference to the difficulties of communication. Her paintings are about language and how we relate to the written word. Sometimes she scrawls fragments of conversations across a canvas or she dribbles words, thick and gooey and oozing with a larger, unknown narrative. Standing among these paintings can make one feel as if they are interloping on a private conversation.
Paola Ciarska’s paintings of naked women absorbed in private rituals are humorous, universal representation of a technologically aware 21st century human. They describe connections between the artist’s identity, digital communication and social media, and the things we surround ourselves with. Over-sharing private information, we are voyeurs with ever more means of communication but not necessarily more worth saying. They present a rich political narrative connecting the independence and isolation of place and home within a technologically connected world.
Nick Fox’s paintings and objects are a mirror to his emotional life. Informed by myth and literature, the work shows both the pleasures and limits of double meanings in the construction of codes. His paintings employ floriography (the symbolic language of flowers) and talismanic symbols to construct visionary spaces as a territory for emotional contemplation and revelation. Loops and knots – traditionally used as tokens of remembrance or devotion – appear disquietingly out of place, whilst botanical forms reveal symbolic fragments of remembrance, wonder, promise, love, lust and loss. Pewter sculptures extend the allegory; the emotional charge becoming physical through symbolic use of form and material.