We took a trip to Coates & Scarry’s booth at Art 15 this year to see the work of Lisa Wright, an artist with a knack for bringing playful yet dark characters to life.
Wright uses a historical style of portrait painting, rooted in the past and the present, highlighting fragments of history. Her paintings are of innocent yet adult like characters that are in a state of role play, a changing of faces. They hover between the line of childhood and adulthood, with rosy cheeks, soft faces and round bellies at odds with their formal clothing and decorative adornments.
Her colour palette is composed of dark backgrounds to bring forth the characters, and always a sudden burst of hues of blues, red. These bright tones are a flicker within the painting to remind the viewer of the innocence that is still intact.
Wright uses a palette knife in her paintings, with heavy oils to create a sense of ease and sensibility. These sensual and striking subjects within her works are uniquely unsettling and compelling. Wright’s ‘The Battle of Youth (Study)’ certainly highlights the constant struggle between going from child, to boy to man.
These works were a must see during a visit to Art 15 at the Coates & Scarry booth. The works are in a state of flux between art history and 21st century art, due to the style Wright uses one would not be able to tell when the works were created, which is rather refreshing.
Wright studied painting at the Royal Academy, London, 1990-1993, after which she had moved to Cornwall, where she currently resides and works. Wrights work has also been acquired in many corporate and private collections as well as showing in the Tate St Ives in the notable Art Now Cornwall exhibition.
She was Artist in Residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company throughout the two year period of the ‘Histories’ cycle, which lead to exhibitions at the Roundhouse, London and at the Royal Academy.