Sep 3, 2011

DAY ONE, Part I - Elizabeth Bainbridge, Alex Bell and Jude Stedham

Recent work, by Elizabeth Bainbridge
 At Brad's Coffee Bar on St Mary Road there is a striking contrast between the work on display. Until you look closely, Elizabeth Bainbridge's amazing moody ink paintings of the sky look just like photographs. It would have been nice to see more of her work, only four paintings are on display. Instead, there are some very cheery, dazzlingly bright paintings of flowers by Polish artist Leszek Boczowski, that a customer remarked reminded him of Van Gogh's work. Boczowski's name is not listed in the guide and while both artists are accomplished, I'm not sure being hung next together showed either of them off to their full advantage.

A Faceless Portrait, by Alex Bell

Alex Bell's work has been beautifully hung and framed at Desire Salon on Orford Road. Faceless Portraits, the title of her exhibition, sounds slightly creepy but that is not the case with these photos. As the beautician working in the salon who sees them every day said, they are "lovely". "They've made the salon so bright, loads of people see the photos in the window and come in to see more." The beautician's favourite is the portrait of Alex's daughter (above), she likes "the magic of the bubbles". Not focusing on the face enables you to notice other things about a person that may often get overlooked.

Down Orford Road to see Jude Stedham's drawings The Muses Squared, chinese ink and watercolour work that takes the classical torso as a starting point and then draws it as a pattern. I spent a while with the lady who works at Petals in Bloom working out what parts of the torso we recognised in the drawings. She saw a woman lying down, while I saw a face. "It really makes you think and is a little bit difficult", was her verdict on the work. We both liked how Jude Stedham combines the Western tradition of representation with the Eastern focus on patterns. Her colleague wishes they'd had more time to make their flower displays into artworks but I think the bloom-filled shop is as beautiful as the art. Jude Stedham's work is well hung, the white drawings stand out against the colourful flowers. She has exhibited in this shop for a few years now and the people who work there have seen her grow, "she was a bit nervous at the beginning and now she is so confident."


Anonymous said...

Great little review, makes me want to see it myself, very helpful as there is loads to see, now I can be guided a little!

Anonymous said...

I know where to go today, love the photos!