A review of Brenda Liddiards latest exhibition
Sola Cafe, Thames
3 June – 1 July 2009
Brenda Liddiard's new exhibition 'How the Light Gets In' nestled in Sola Cafe, Thames, is well installed and professionally presented. The eclectic organic decor complements beautifully the sixteen mixed media works hung upon two mandarin and tamarillo walls.
Liddiard shows a captivating transition from her background as a musician, exchanging lyrics for acrylic colour, glazes and form. Abstract expressionism becomes her new voice in articulating her ideas. The collection of works ooze with the artist's curiosity in media, texture and colour, with bold brush strokes, trails of ink and collage all a melange of her emerging style. Allusions to Phillipa Blair's distinctive confident use of marks could be seen within Liddiard's unique emotive and moody ground. This examination of natural beauty and deep internal questions become apparent through carefully chosen natural hues and layering techniques. Subject matter though abstract leaves the viewer in no doubt that Liddiard's work is clearly identifying with sea, land and estuary scenes.
The variation displayed throughout the body of work lacked some cohesion and left the viewer confused as to the overall statement of intent, yet the seven northern wall pieces unravel the journey of a white brush stroke motif. The southern wall contain her three strongest pieces 'How the Light Gets In (I)', 'How the Light Gets In (II)' and 'There is a Crack in Everything' that exchange the white strand for a gold cross. These three paintings reference Leonard Cohen lyrics and highlight a theme of penetrating light. They demonstrate a more mature use of restraint amongst the playful collection. Liddiard's strengths lie in her use of transparency and subtle detail that capture na?ve simplicity while making one want to take a second, more careful look.
Reviewed and written by Emily Hill
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