Body of Work,
Centrespace Gallery, Bristol
Friday 17th - 22nd September 2021
My exhibition at Centrespace had been arranged in the Summer of 2019 - much simpler and more innocent times! The intention then was for it to be about something else entirely and one day I may return to that. In the meantime the in, out, hokey cokey of lockdowns and self isolations and homeschooling meant that my work sort of got squeezed into all the cracks of life. And for a while I put all idea of the exhibition out of my head, I just wanted to get us all through it and then think about it afterwards - surely it wouldn’t last for long...
During lockdown I’ve worked on commissions and some landscapes from our lockdown walks, skyscapes from our fabulous view and quiet still lifes from the detritus of my life. But then I discovered the world of online life drawing. I started just to keep my hand in, we tend to treat life drawing like an exercise, a discipline, a warm up before the real work begins. I had to book it, so I had to do it and there was an energy and urgency to it - I had to get as much out of each session as possible, try as many things, materials, surfaces. And the more I did it the more involved I became…
And then this became THE thing. And eventually it dawned on me that my exhibition should be about this - my body of work - artists are alway supposed to be working on a body of work aren’t they - should be this work about bodies.
All the isolation has made me reflect, on my thoughts, opinions and priorities. And all the life drawing made me think about our bodies, my body. Bodies which we’re born into, which grow, develop, bloom, give birth, wrinkle, sag, live and die. Bodies which we’re told should be this shape, not that, that should be not too thin, not too fat, about thigh gaps and fat rolls. Bodies that we’re proud of, that cause us shame, that we shouldn’t flaunt, that we should cover up. Bodies that we shouldn’t let go, that we work on, take care of. That we decorate, adorn, tattoo and alter. Our bodies walk, run, dance, swim, sit, cuddle, caress and carry us out into the world
My residency at the garage gave me a great opportunity to work on great big paintings - the sort of things I find it difficult to do in my studio at home, because of space, time and distractions. It made me braver and bolder and I’ve tried to bring this attitude home with me. The exhibition will comprise everything from small studies, sketches and monoprints to large paintings.
And although I sort of stumbled into this theme, this body of work, due to the strange circumstances - this exhibition isn’t a conclusion but rather the beginning of a further exploration. The more I look at bodies the more fascinating they become - not just as forms but as symbols of who we are, how we are, and the ways we change.
For more information or details of the preview night follow @varosha on instagram or email rosh@ varosha.co .uk
Friday - Sunday 11.00 – 18.00
Monday 13.00 – 18.00
Tuesday & Wednesday 11.00 – 18.00