During my hometown touristing, one of the first things I had to go see was Clare Woods’ ‘Victim of Geography’ Exhibition at the Dundee Contemporary Arts. This is Woods’ first solo Scottish exhibition and she surely pulled out all the stops with these 11 paintings! I am by no means an art expert but this exhibit left a lasting impression on me and made me feel an array of emotion whilst walking through it.
Woods, who is originally a trained sculptor, constructs these large masterpieces flat, describing her canvas more like a table when painting and is seen mixing her colours on the canvas and layering her paint which has brought an abstract realness to her work.
(From Left to Right: ‘The Last Word’, ‘The Emergency Chair’, ‘An Artic Breakfast’)
Each piece of artwork is painted on aluminium sheets and uses oil based paints. Each painting has been created from a single source image, a magazine clipping, a picture from the internet, an archive print, which has been gradually broken down using long brush strokes. Many of the individuals from the original material were naked and vulnerable and with the build up of paint along the metal when reflected by light, gives these beings a ghost like presence about them.
In order to digest these powerful pieces of work, I had to walk around the gallery several times looking at the paintings from different angles. It is advised, by Woods herself, that you walk through the exhibition first, then listen to the 5 minute documentary by the gift shop, then go back into the gallery again, referring to the leaflet provided. That way she believes you generate a true emotion to the work without being prompted.
(From Left to Right: ‘Comfort Room’, ‘Uncle Denver’, ‘English Murder’)
The beautiful, bright, airy and spacious gallery of the Dundee Contemporary Arts brings these paintings to life, allowing you time to process each painting without getting overwhelmed. I will definitely be going back for another look before the exhibit is over.
‘Victim of Geography’ by Clare Woods
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Open from 24th June 2017 – 10th September 2017
Entrance is Free