© Arabella Hope

Green, 2006
oil & fabric on canvas, 36 x 48 in, 91.4 x 121.9 cm

Arabella Hope

Arabella Hope's large-scale paintings explore the intimate spaces of domestic bathrooms. The works of art included in this exhibition encourage us to consider how we experience private places, and how our use and perception of bathrooms shape our thoughts, memories and dreams.

Accepting that emptiness is part of our everyday life, Hope's domestic interiors are devoid of people, and her works open up a space in which we can contemplate the rituals associated with cleaning and washing ourselves. Bathrooms are spaces where we reflect upon our bodies, where we are most vulnerable in our nakedness. They can be places where we find our true selves, or where we create a self that we want the world to see. This changeable, vulnerable aspect of life is translated into an uncanny absence in Hope's work, but which is balanced by her extraordinary use of colour and texture.

A meditative stillness is expressed with an astonishing strength of colour in Hope's work, and calls to mind the bathroom paintings of Pierre Bonnard. Like the French artist, Hope balances her interest in her subject matter with a concern with form and the practice of painting. Each work of art can be regarded as a field of colour, comprised of overlapping planes and patterns. Areas are balanced between coolness and warmth; the curve of the bathtub contrasts the systematic grids of the rectangular bathroom walls to create images that are both intimate and intense. Hope's work makes a virtue of empty space and her skill is to keep the surfaces of her paintings meaningful without depicting incidents or activity.

Arabella Hope studied at Leith School of Art before graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2007. She was selected to exhibit in "BraveArt", an exhibition of the best Scottish graduates, in September 2007, and more recently included work in the New Graduates 2007 exhibition at Pentagon Gallery, Glasgow. This is her first solo exhibition.

Exhibition: 17 January - 23 February 2008
Gallery hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 5.30 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm

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