THE LONDON-based artist, Frances Aviva Blane has just published Embassy, her second book which follows the success of Two Faces, an exhibition at the German Ambassador’s Residence in London in which a large selection of her paintings and drawings were included this year. As well as work from the show, the book includes an essay by the leading British artist and printmaker, Tess Jaray about Blane’s work.
In her foreward to the book, Jaray describes Blane’s emotive gestures as “painting straight from the heart to the canvas”. Blane draws and paints with alacrity but her work is not random but thoughtfully planned and, as the artist explains, “hard to make”.
Blane exploits the theatrics of vivid colour as it hits the canvas with her innovative use of paint. Sometimes pink wells up in a rush of emotion and simmers under mascara streaked tears. Yellow gets spiked with black and mingles with wet globs from the tube. Blane also enjoys the limitation of working in one colour, as her big black oils demonstrate. In these, she rips, gouges and scrapes the surface until it seethes like hot tar but in others, she thins the paint to a watery drizzle like rain from heavy dark skies.
An abstract expressionist artist, Blane works in an unusual way as she also draws figuratively. In these large canvases, the scrawled personalities of Blane’s heads become metaphors in paint as it breaks up. She welcomes the element of surprise as the paint drips and is allowed to take its own course. The effects of these marks can be disturbing, confrontational or plain hectic but some seem otherworldly as they deconstruct, fall and float free.
Blane is represented by the De Queeste Kunstkamers art gallery in Belgium where her drawings have been exhibited alongside work by Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. Recently, her work was selected by film-maker Jordan Baseman and will be on show at Creekside Open later this year.
by Miranda Charalambous
Front page image: Heart, Oil/linen, 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane