120 x 100 cm | 47 x 39 in
Original painting in oil on canvas.
"Figures of children were cut out and collaged into a 2D shape, the aim was to make a pleasing pattern on a flat surface. Once a painting was made of the figures the viewer, hard-wired as a human, to find narrative will impose memories of inclusion or exclusion onto that pattern, purely because it contains figures."
Helen Latham’s paintings focus on the 21st-century self – how do we relate to each other in a culture saturated by superficiality? Latham imbues her paintings with emotion through the careful use of colour and form. Art, as Latham shows, has a peculiar power to provoke emotion and it is what critic Clive Bell, in 1914, explained is the “aesthetic emotion”, the essential difference between art and all other objects. In Latham’s imagery, colour is used to affect an emotional response, and spatial devices are used to evoke a sense of belonging or alienation in the image’s narrative. In turn, each painting conjures memory to invoke empathy and contemplation of the self in direct relation to the other.