Brighton was an enlivening and uplifting, well-curated show, characterised by really strong, engaging painting, which had a raw quality and a naivete. Anita Kavaja created tender paintings often set in domestic spaces depicting human relationships. Elisha Enfield used a really exciting painterly touch – washes, stains, disturbances of paint and curious lighting – to form abandoned interiors with a warm palette, spaces opening up into other spaces.
Noe Baba was immersed in a language of her own, a sort of Where The Wild Things Are re-imagined in lovely sun-filled hues, at other times she was hinting at something figurative in a difficult and arresting way. Peter Barwick created a positive visual assault, crazy Technicolor snapshots of a wild world, combining dreamy childish candy floss colours with radical experimentation, while a television played in the centre of the cluster of paintings. Barwick’s artist’s statement was erased and overwritten in places, mimicking the preoccupations of his paintings: the digestion, elision and selection of a great influx of information.
Samuel Reagan’s work displayed a raw quality that was prevalent throughout the show, and which spoke of the confidence to stop, to leave things as they are, and to know when not to re-work a piece. He created small- scale abstract works.
Stephanie Kirk showed large-scale, colourful and energetic paintings using the silhouetted forms of children, with their hands as troubled liminal points, perhaps considering a subject’s impact on their environment, or the ways in which a subject is influenced and impacted on, and formed by, their environment – the negotiation between the space within and the space without.