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Abigail Lence

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Degree: Fine Art
University: University of Leeds
Graduation Year: 2020

Artist Statement

My oil paintings  are the juxtaposition of concrete childhood holiday photographs, interplaying with intangible distant memories suggesting animosity and anxiety hidden within. Nostalgic photographs trigger deep reflections and the grasping of fragments of memories which can reveal deep, sometimes forgotten emotions. I have transposed these into a multi-layered visual experience. Memories are not fixed by a single photo, they are stored and repressed in the subconscious, making it a challenge to recall the exact moment, the experience is more a fluid stream of regression and reflection.

 

When painting, memories are echoed in the non-visual space; where sketching, typing, glazing, scraping and pouring bridge the physical process and the mental state. Much of the time, art is created without conscious thought, leaving an ambiguous and sometimes perplexing territory between expressionism and the figurative. Layers of narrative, emotion, time, movement and stillness cohere with each other, with clues and suggestions rooted in the work. The repetition of meaningful elements and surges of bright strokes leave work open to interpretation and exploration. With never-ending working and adapting, paint is scraped down and built up, distending from translucent to thick, seeking conscious balance between chaos and control. The aggregation of discernible techniques illustrates my meaning and the movement of each mark I make, invites the audience to examine and question deeper, beyond first sight impressions.

 

Constantly competing with emotions from the initial snapshot photos and the reflection of what was truly happening, it is hard to deal with contrasting thoughts. This fusion of emotions is translated in the inherent movement and form of oil paint, exposing essential marked elements and veiling others.

                                                                                                           

In this aspect of seeing, it is about the things you do not see at first, there is a contrast between purity and something darker. On further inspection, the viewer, pieces together visual elements suggesting prior knowledge of motifs and schemas implied by visual marks. Overpowering visual imagery guides the titles of paintings, the artist is communicating to the audience from a personal mental state.  

 

My work is set in a landscape of mental processes combining concrete capture of the past with a self-reflective, more ambiguous attempt to grasp emotions and a sense of being. I engage with what at one time happened, along with my current feelings, which culminates with a discovery of components that do not match the preliminary image, perhaps this is inevitable and inescapable.

 

The shift from small snapshot photos to large canvas paintings, augments the corruption of memory. Evoking a certain gaze of reality imposes disturbing yet breath-taking components exceeding the primary format. These large paintings echo memories, giving the illusion that it is alive, it has its own energy. Inviting the viewer in to breathe and embrace the moment in time, that soon becomes a nostalgic by aching memory.

 

How does it feel to be overwhelmed by memories that are not perfect, but on the surface look it?

- this ultimately fuels my making.

 

Original works:

Orange Flip Flops V

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£200

Orange Flip Flops IV

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£200

Orange Flip Flops III

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£200

Blue Water II

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£200

Orange Flip Flops

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£2200

Orange Flip Flops II

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£200

Red Denim Jacket

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£3000

Blue Water

By Abigail Lence

2020 Graduate

£2600