60 x 60 cm | 23 x 23 in
Original painting in oil and acrylic on linen canvas.
"A study of the dress in an elegant 17th Century portrait of a lady. Here the lady is almost absent: the painting was never about her, it was about her status, her clothes. The hand is limp and ineffectual, just as it was carefully painted to be."
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.