Sep 5, 2011

Paintings, collages and Colonel Gaddafi at Jane Elliott's house

Paulette and the screen, by Jane Elliott
Life paintings from the early 1980s, work that relate to more recent news events and collages by  99 year-old (!) Walter Krauss are all on display at Jane Elliott's house.

Jane did these large oil paintings in the early 1980s, shortly after completing her degree in fine art at Leeds University and higher diploma in painting at the Slade. The life painting in the back room is a powerful, well-observed piece. Light falls on the man's body and contrasts with the shadows in the room. This is combined with masterful handling of paint and a bold composition that makes you wonder what the story behind the work is. Jane spent around nine months on this painting of the man who went on to become her husband and is also a painter. She painted him from life every day, with no days off, and then in the evening they worked together in a cinema.

These days Jane works more quickly and uses gouache, which she finds more delicate than oil. Her interest in light and shade that is evident in her early work has led her to produce paintings that are about the night. These weren't up yet when I went round but she says they emerge from looking at darkness, colour and tone, the altered scale of space, objects and bodies which shift from their everyday identities, both mysterious and utterly common. And "yes I do paint at night!"

Upstairs are topical paintings by Ruth Lucam. A painting of a burning bus is captioned "Tuscany can get VERY hot this time of year". Also on show are Amy Winehouse and a scarily realistic Colonel Gaddafi, appropriately painted against a green background.

Walter Krauss's collages also show familiar faces. He draws out geometric patterns, using different colours and then incorporates pictures from magazines. At 99 he may be the oldest person exhibiting on the Trail.

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