press release

Hannah Maybank produces quiet spaces. Her paintings depict a curiosity in the ethereal, in the beauty of solitude and absence. By using motifs of trees, mountains and clouds- things so ordinary that we often pass them by- we are presented with a body of work that forces us to slow down and look. On investigation these paintings reveal networks of patterns, fissures and textures; contrasting colours and moods. Through looking we are faced with the intertwined themes of stillness and subtlety, the changing processes of time and the ambivalent concept of space.

The secrets of these paintings are unveiled to those who seek them, but not everything is given at once. Looking closer we see the repeated forms of a tree, inverted, reflected and scaled down. Processes are at work; things that appear still are changing and shifting. The movement between layers of paint dislocates normal perspective while the passing of time from point of creation to dissolution, visible in the rips and fragmentation of the paint, echoes the shifts that occur naturally in the depicted trees and clouds.

Layers of colour hide more layers. Traces and remnants of hidden layers and patterns become evident as the surface cracks and tears. A fracture in the paint forces fragments to curl away from the canvas revealing unknown elements. Like memories, these paintings present traces of the past overwritten by new inscriptions. The past exists within the present. The surface of the work is no longer the most important aspect of it. The space beneath the surface, the distance beyond, intrigues us. We become aware also of the physicality of the paint as it peels away from the canvas. Paint, so often used as an illusionary device becomes physically prominent within the viewer's space.

Though their colours may be bright or vibrant, these are not loud paintings. Through the reciprocal relationship between image and content Maybank produces an experience that will remain long after the image has ceased.

Hannah Maybank graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1999. This is her first solo exhibition.

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Hannah Maybank