Degree: BA Fine Art
University: Nottingham Trent University
Graduation Year: 2020
‘Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.’ The words of Dostoevsky seem to beautifully surmise the focus of Francesca Bleay’s work: the tension between chaos and control.
Bleay layers a variety of kaleidoscopic paints, using a litany of techniques and marks. However, this is not where Bleay’s art ends, it is the ‘after’ where her work truly comes into its own. Concerned with how materials react, what marks do to each other – Bleay’s work investigates the reactional process, and how, given chance, chaos is born from control and might give way to beauty.
Through transforming and opening up the perceptual possibilities of a medium, I create abstract paintings that seek a deliberate tension between chaos and control that are rendered in acrylic paint.
By exploring painterly language that is informed by both contemporary and historic abstract painting, I create transcendent plane through layering a multitude of techniques that display my physical experience when painting. Each mark manifests into a reaction and response to another mark. Through this process, I leave the viewer attempting to reveal the beneath, behind and the beyond. I position colour in my paintings as a visual strategy that sits between abstraction and the viewer, allowing the viewer to access my painterly gestures through my carefully selected colour choices.
2020, XANADU, Surface Gallery, Nottingham
2020, Dot Dot Dash, Surface Gallery, Online
2019, Still I Rise Exhibition Closing Party, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham