Vyner Street Studio, 1-3 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG
Nina Gehl is currently showing her work as part of a Group Show at The Vyner Studio Gallery. The Gallery is Iker Garcia Barrenetxea’s new and inviting showcase for international artists in the East End.Gehl is showing a series of portrait paintings which she started to work on when she stayed in a remote place in the Italy and had lots of time, but no paints and material to work with.
She devised an ingenious method of making paint from using ash, mixing it with oils and then experimenting with other compounds until she could produce a consistency and finish that not only matches regular pigmented paint but lends the work a quality that enhances and is indicative of her subject matter.
The inspiration for this series of works draws on a memory of a near death experience Nina Gehl experienced as a child. The women of her family where all nearby but unawares of her plight of being close to drowning.
The resulting works represent singular or double portraits of women surfacing from tones of black, soft greys and browns. Other women disappear into the depth of the painting, are just out of sight, or are hidden in the black ground they are trying to emerge from.
A larger work titled Cunard Nurses sold at auction recently and depicts a group of woman in long white aprons. The painting is after an old photographic image taken in the Nursery Nurse Section of a Cunard Cruise Ship.
The scene tells of staunch woman who have made it their profession to offer safety and care for others. Nina Gehl’s paints the soft lights and shades of black vaporously and offers a fleeting glimpse of a bygone era. The work as a whole suggests a sense deference and respect for the inert kindness of women who are committed to care. It is significant and suited that these woman should be reclaimed from the ashes.
The show is still on until 6th November 2010 it comes recommended!
Other artists in the show are Alessia E.R. Avellino, Natuka Honrubia, Jon Braley. Curator: Iker Garcia Barrenetxea. http://thingsworthseeing.blogspot.com