Working with traditional mediums such as oil paint and pastels, London-based artist Hester Finch’s pieces feature scenes any one would be familiar with – on the surface. “I choose subjects that are to all intents and purposes normal on the surface, mundane even – a laconic pose, a pretty park – but which are then rendered in a state of taut anxiety,” she says of her work.
This heightened state is built through Hester’s use of colour and texture, utilising her tools to create what is described as “a claustrophobic, often nightmarish world”. In mixing these techniques with her own perspective on the world, Hester has carved a unique niche for herself in the art world, considering the pieces present “the everyday, the lived experience, and the psychology that runs beneath.”
A further part of Hester’s practice is dedicated to representing female nudes. Balancing two worlds again in these portraits, the artist “constructs angular and awkward bodies which are at once highly representational, and at the same time abstract in their faceted, flat planes of colour.” It’s an age old subject after all, but this artist’s approach lays a new point of view on the table by playing “on the familiarity and predictability” of drawing the female form as “the mundane is juxtaposed with the surreal, and the gaze is subverted (no longer that of a male artist, musing the female body).”
By not limiting herself to a particular subject, way of working or just one meaning in any of her pieces, the surreal quality of Hester’s work has captivated audiences whether she’s representing the psychology of space, or rooting her work in feminist theories.
- Can graphic design translate to performance? LCC's grad show identity shows us it can
- Gina Tonic on being big, Welsh and growing up in an ex-mining town in The Valleys
- Margot Lévêque examines the historical, emotional and philosophical connotations of the collar
- Illustrator Moon utilises drawing as a means of understanding herself
- Toilet rolls and sat navs: Photographer Andy Price will make you look twice at everyday objects
- Samantha French’s dazzling underwater paintings hark back to childhood summers
- Turning her lens to those around her, Danna Singer reveals the story of a working class community
- Kyle Berger’s Photoshopped images exist in “a post-truth timeline”
- The climate crisis is daunting, but as a creative professional, there’s much you can do
- Elizabeth Hibbard’s unsettling photographs examine subjective experience with a visceral gaze
- “My creativity is sparked by music and architecture”: meet graphic designer Stephanie Specht
- Adventure Time’s finale nominated for Emmy, alongside BoJack and Big Mouth