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Roxana Halls
26 August - 27 September 2014

Roxana Halls' paintings are often characterised by an insatiable curiosity for key cultural trends, and her latest exhibition Appetite questions the repertoire of legitimate actions available to women today. In a contemporary culture that influences and polices women’s behaviour, Halls’ protagonists highlight the resultant self censure and fear of inappropriateness: they respond to messages of Eat/Don’t Eat like simmering saucepans, or boiling kettles about to blow their covers. Caught in the act of mastication, they forget all social etiquette, advancing aggressively upon the edible.


Inspired by J. M. Charcot’s defined phases of a hysteric episode, the arresting centrepiece Twelve Hysterical Women is a tongue-in-cheek take on the The Iconographie Photographique de la Salpêtrière- from dramatic lighting and oval framing, to models chosen for the aesthetic over the symptomatic. Although witch hunts are in the past and ‘hysteria’ is no longer an acceptable diagnosis, the idea of female repression and its consequences is still relevant. ‘Hysteria’ has simply fragmented into a variety of modern ailments- from eating disorders to post-natal depression. The strange female body, with its dangerous sexuality and emotional tendencies is still seen as a thing to be kept under strict control- and naturally becomes rebellious.


Halls considers herself as an artist working within the feminist tradition, yet she does not force-feed us the moral of the story. Unlike Charcot’s medical specimens, Halls’ subjects are presented without judgement; they stare out defiantly and challenge us about our own self-imposed boundaries. You can try to suppress them, or keep them safely within their frames- but you should expect eruptions of indecorous behaviour verging on the absurd. This exhibition is for those who have an insatiable appetite for the naked truth - and they will leave feeling hungrier for it than before.

Group Show
26 August - 27 September 2014

Following on from the popular summer exhibition, is a second instalment of the artistic talent represented by Hay Hill Gallery. The underlying theme for the show appears to be myth or fantasy- and like opening up a well-loved children’s book, these works illustrate fantastical far-off lands or half-remembered dreams. Each artist presents an insight into creative imagination: from fragmented swimming pool kaleidoscopes, to the dizzy heights of London’s Royal Albert Hall; from leaping Italian landscapes, to melancholy monochrome seascapes; from darkly realist portraits, to bright theatrical caricatures.

Hay Hill Gallery’s group exhibitions are renowned for showcasing the diverse and exceptional. With so many contrasting techniques on show, opinion is invited and the subject of ‘art’ is thrown open for debate. You will lose yourself in unfamiliar perspectives; uncover old things you didn’t know you’d forgotten; most of all marvel at your own mind among these other strange brains.

The group show covers a wide range of artistic styles and offers a unique experience for every viewer. Read more about just a few of these works below:

Carlo Mirabasso’s Italian landscapes are typically filled with pointed roofs, bell towers and leaping arches, all in neat vertical rows that sweep the eye upwards. Mathematical building blocks are reminiscent of children’s toys- the pink, orange and blue shapes are faded like the plastic of buckets and spades left out in the sun. Lighthouses and beach balls give an air of nostalgia, but here the plasticine clouds and iron moons are too dense for the translucent skies; they drop down amongst the cypress trees leaving heavy shadows behind.

David Gould’s works are the result of a fantastic artistic process, accentuating depth and transparency with an experimental approach. Fusing together traditional methods with digital media, he links together fragments of changing time and human activity, making the mundane magical.

Pancho Malezanov’s works are like remembering a flying dream or being sat on a roundabout; the colours whirl around forcing the viewer into the centre of each piece. Magnified fields, trees and ocean floors reveal camouflaged shoals of rainbow fish, birds of paradise and weird-eyed insects. Rolling hills like tidal waves curve around as though reflected by the side of a saucepan. Unbalanced by peculiar surroundings, the eye attempts to come to terms with these flickering neon zoetropes.

Jones Keyworth’s works are reminiscent of icons or illuminated manuscripts: small and heavy pieces, painted with luminous jewel like tones. From Albert is a new series of views sketched from the very top of the Albert Hall’s famous domed roof- the haze of heaped houses, glass office blocks, towers and cranes just about visible in the smoky ‘London particular’. With its Turner-esque twilight skies, this London appears both dark and bright; a living creature and a ghostly apparition.

Sopho Chkhikvadze’s unique works have both beauty and naiveté; elements of comedy are heightened by distortion, the fuzzy-felt colours underpinned by nostalgia. The scenes often read like children’s book illustrations or dreamy caricatures, provoking a sense of emotional de-ja-vu. 

Bruce Clark’s real and imagined locations often seem like lonely places. Inspired by literature, mythology, genealogy, architecture and simple geometry, the artist is drawn towards simplification and clarification. These landscapes create calm yet melancholic settings which provide an escape from the worries and complications of life in the twenty-first century.

David Bowers style is characterised by the depiction of oddly posed characters with his amazingly realist style. These images are often concerned with the masks we daily choose to wear, uncovering the dangerous true natures that bubble away beneath the surface. Mutual desires for money, sex and power cause his subjects to play roles in front of each other, skirting the real issues with elaborate relationship games.

Oliver Estavillo takes inspiration from everyday life; the bizarre neighbours, serial killers, boring aunts and shrill parties. Ladies with budgerigar heads and droopy hats wear their pearls high to disguise crepey necks and sagging jowls. This ultra-violent fantasism scratches beneath the glittering surfaces to expose decay, confronting us with our own selfish bloodlust.

The exhibition is held alongside a sculpture collection which features works by Oleg Prokofiev, Eleanor Cardozo, Nicola Godden, Richard L.Minns, Andy Cheese, Jamie McCartney, Ian Edwards, Gianfranco Meggiato, Massimiliano Cacchiarelli Principi, Palolo Valdés and Rachel Ann Stevenson.

E-mail: info@hayhillgallery.com