In­no­va­tive fe­male artists on dis­play

Rochdale Observer - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - Steve@aata.me

TOUCH­STONES Gallery is now host­ing the work of three in­no­va­tive women – artists, Jessica Rankin, Rachael Clewlow and Evan­gelia Spil­iopoulou.

Jessica Rankin’s ex­hi­bi­tion is called Stone/ Fold­ing.

Ap­pro­pri­at­ing meth­ods tra­di­tion­ally iden­ti­fied with ‘fem­i­nine’ pur­suits, em­broi­dery and needle­work, New York-based artist Jessica ’s work of­ten takes the form of or­gandy, ‘em­broi­dered paint­ings.

Hav­ing learned to sew as a child in Aus­tralia, Jessica re­turned to em­broi­dery af­ter grad­u­at­ing from art school in the USA.

In its na­ture me­thod­i­cal and repet­i­tive, needle­work has the ca­pac­ity to let the mind wan­der.

Draw­ing on this, and com­bin­ing text and im­age, her em­broi­deries re­sem­ble men­tal maps, or ‘brain­scapes’ as she of­ten refers to them, work­ing through recollections, im­pres­sions of places and im­me­di­ate ex­pe­ri­ence.

This is the first solo ex­hi­bi­tion for Rachael Clewlow, called My Paths Are My Ideas of Imag­i­na­tion. Rachel has cre­ated a new se­ries of paint­ings, pre­sented in groups and fo­cus­ing on a set of spe­cific pre-de­fined walks in Rochdale, Newcastle and Lon­don.

Each walk rep­re­sents a jour­ney. Her ideas about ex­plor­ing the world merge with her in­ter­est in ex­plor­ing her own lan­guage of paint­ing and ab­strac­tion.

She pre­pares by mak­ing rig­or­ous and de­tailed record­ings of her ev­ery­day move­ments. This metic­u­lous in­for­ma­tion is trans­ferred onto in­tri­cate draw­ings and paint­ing. The use of sub­tle line and colour draws the viewer close to scru­ti­nise the work, giv­ing im­por­tance to sur­face, ma­te­ri­als, de­tail and a high level of fin­ish.

Orig­i­nally clas­si­cally trained in fig­u­ra­tive or aca­demic art, Evan­gelia Spil­iopoulou has since de­vel­oped a prac­tice that seeks to ex­pand the rules that she was taught.

For ex­am­ple, in her draw­ings she fre­quently im­poses strict lim­i­ta­tions or pa­ram­e­ters that gov­ern the de­vel­op­ment of the fi­nal im­agery and em­ploys un­con­ven­tional tools that hide the ev­i­dence of her own hand in the cre­ation of the work. For this, her lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion, called Ori­en­ta­tion: Land­scape, she has turned her crit­i­cal eye to paint­ing. Inspired by the post-in­dus­trial land­scape of Rochdale and the lan­guage bor­rowed from the tra­di­tion of paint­ing by to­day’s dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, she has cre­ated a new body of work that aims to re­de­fine our un­der­stand­ing of what a paint­ing might be.

Th­ese ex­hi­bi­tions are on now un­til De­cem­ber. Call 01706 924492.

●●Jessica Rankin, one of the fe­male artists who is now ex­hibit­ing her work at Touch­stones

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