Lesley Dickman - Still Life/Food for Thought
Wednesday 20 April - Saturday 7 May 2022
Thrown into the sobering reality of Covid-19 in early March 2020, Lesley Dickman seized the opportunity for self-reflection and the development of a new direction in her art practise as an antidote to obsessing with the dispiriting and disruptive nature caused by the pandemic of 2020. She attempted to counterbalance the perceived danger of Covid-19 as she tried to reset her narrative from the angst-ridden past works to a place of optimism, a celebration of life and an embodiment of hope in the face of adversity.
Returning to an unresolved interest in Still Life, Dickman discarded her themes of dereliction and desertion previously shown in her early works. The scattered broken pots, bird skeletons and threatening crows are replaced with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables in a landscape setting. Gone, too, is the muted blue-grey-brown palette of acrylic paint on canvas. Instead, Dickman delivers an uplifting series of drawings using a wide range of coloured soft pastels with layers of expressive, loose, broad sweeping marks that capture a sense of urgency and movement. Still holding on to expressionist tendencies of using gestural mark making as an emotive tool, Dickman shows her versatility with the medium as she blends and layers the colour in a painterly fashion, occasionally building crusty thick slabs of colour followed with fine drawing lines over the surface.
(First paragraphs of the catalogue essay accompanying the exhibition)