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Offshoot Gallery is excited to present Splinters & Swimmers, a solo exhibition with new paintings by Araminta Blue, curated by Sara Thorsen Fredborg. This new body of work considers the role of imagined natural spaces as both means of idealised escape from our reality, and as a reflection of our paradoxical relationship with nature: how we connect with it, attempt to control it, and damage it.
Blue’s paintings begin with a loose contour. The oil paint is either diluted to act like watercolour, applied in washes, scrubbed with rags or thickened to a clay or cement-like consistency that is slicked and scratched. The canvas is treated like a drawing on paper: the process of making the work is open to the viewer in the translucent layers and visibly scrubbed out marks. The subjects weave together, emerging and dissolving into the canvas.
Associative layers of memory converge to create subjects that are familiar yet ultimately unplaceable. The narratives are fragmented and contradictory, carrying both the idyllic and the sinister. Line and colour connect the figures to their setting; twisting and turning forms of the body mirroring those of the trees and swimmers become part of the reflective appearance of the water.
Dreamlike scenes of the figure at one with nature are tainted by real-life knowledge of our impact on the natural world. The sinuous seductive brushwork of the trees distracts from their sparse deadness; splintered branches, blood red or ash-grey. Human presence encroaches on the natural spaces; crowds and fences cutting across the landscape; cultivating or controlling, protecting or destroying.
Curated by: Sara Thorsen Fredborg
Araminta Blue and Sara Thorsen Fredborg
Wednesday 9 SEPTEMBER 2020, 6pm
- Talk will take place online
Araminta Blue, Farnaz Gholami and Maria Farrar
Tuesday 15 SEPTEMBER 2020, 6pm
- Talk will take place online
Splinters & Swimmers will have a "soft opening" / private view. The gallery will be open to the public. A limited number of visitors will be allowed in the gallery at a time. All visitors must wear masks, hand sanitiser will be provided and social distancing measures strictly observed.
Araminta Blue was born 1990 in Cyprus to British parents. She graduated with a masters in painting from the Slade School of Art last year and remained working in London, exhibiting with no.20 Arts, Generation & Display, Christies Education and Gallery Rosenfeld. She also holds a BAHons from Ruskin School of Art, is the current recipient of the Artists Collecting Society Studio Prize and was shortlisted for the Chadwell Award, Derek Hill Scholarship and Hix Award in recent years.
Sara Thorsen Fredborg is a curator and writer. She graduated with an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in 2018 and has since been Resident Curator at Generation & Display, London. Her practice revolves around notions of zeitgeist, collective psychology and climate change, often explored through the prisms of public space (material or virtual), architecture and technology.
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