Clare Bonnet ‘F L U X’ at Sarah Wiseman Gallery
40-41 S Parade
Oxford OX2 7JL
Clare Bonnet| F L U X
Figurative paintings that explore the re-charged feminist discourse
Sarah Wiseman Gallery is proud to present ‘Flux’ , a solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Clare Bonnet.
Clare is best known for her figurative paintings, semi-abstract female forms with mostly broad, simplified brushstrokes, placing the figure in ambiguous, sparse interiors and juxtaposing fine details with strong, clearly defined lines and large areas of solid, vibrant colour.
In light of the current re-charged feminist discourse, Clare has sought to explore and interpret women’s constantly evolving roles in society. With this new focus, alongside refining her painterly technique, her new work has reached exciting new developments.
She says ‘We [as women] have learnt to adopt a wide range of personas to manage and advance our personal development in response to an outmoded social framework – whether it’s a sexual persona or a ‘female’ friendly persona, or a career version of ourselves, we flex and morph on a daily basis – at times completely unconsciously. Via our various roles, rightly or wrongly, we make ourselves permanently available.’
Opting for canvas rather than board, Clare’s paintings have taken on a new physicality. The toothed surface of the canvas has opened up and loosened her brushwork. She is using longer brushes, enhancing her already gestural brushstrokes. Clare has also been studying the works of Juana Romani, a nineteenth century portrait painter. ‘I am inspired by historical painting and contemporary themes’, she says. ‘Although I don’t consider myself a portrait artist, portraiture interests me because it is uncompromising – there is a self-possession to it that gifts the viewer with an insight rather than offer a range of interpretations.’
The result is a series of paintings that are alive with energy, keyed into powerful ideas that explore the Clare’s relationship with femininity.
She says, ‘I paint women because authenticity is important and I experience the world through a female body – therefore my paintings are speaking on my behalf of my experience.’