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.
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