Hannah Lipsey & Beth Banks | 27th April – 19th May 2012

Elysium Gallery is proud to present the first joint exhibition of paintings from recent Cardiff University graduates Beth Banks and Hannah Lipsey:


Beth Banks

‘One could not help looking […] in the long glass that hung outside in the hall. Chance had so arranged it. From the depths of the sofa in the drawing-room one could see reflected in the Italian glass not only the marble-topped table opposite, but a stretch of the garden beyond. One could see a long grass path leading between banks of tall flowers until, slicing off at an angle, the gold rim cut it off. ‘

Extract from ‘The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection’ by Virginia Woolf

Integral to Banks work is observation. Intense scrutiny of the transient nature of reality translates to a visible tension in her painting. The Virginia Woolf extract mirrors the artists’ paintings as they both contain a complicated view where various scenes are played out, the play with framing and the juxtaposition of areas of depth and passage, how the mirror slices off the scene. Banks is attracted to the mirror for its illusionistic quality.

‘I like how a mirror’s reflection can suggest analysis in a physical and emotional sense (As the pun in the title suggests). I enjoy the contrasts in the story and extract, outside and inside the house, inside and outside of the mirror, illusion and reality. The story has a cinematic quality which I find really interesting. The more a subject is observed, the more abstract it can appear. I am exploring and considering the metaphorical implications of introducing non illusionistic and reductive elements into my figurative work. Passages read only as paint, as pattern, playing with depth through flattening. I am interested in the balance between abstraction and representation and how a figure can inhabit this space’.

Banks has recently exhibited at the Hans Brinker Painting Award in Amsterdam and the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff.

Hannah Lipsey

The architect is not free, but the artist is… Serguei Ouissik

Lipsey explores the flatness of the way she paints against the 3-dimensionality of the object, pushing the boundaries of architectural properties and what is possible. Her paintings stir subconscious memories, making an image seem familiar yet also strange and dream-like, resulting in an uncanny, urban reality. This work creates a sense of voyeurism; the viewer peers up the driveway at the house waiting for something to happen. In Lipsey’s paintings, the house is the centre of the universe where the exterior shell wraps itself around the memories, actions and lives of the people who live and once lived there.

The artist Michael Nevin suggests similar themes than run through some of his own paintings:

‘Although they are not always the primary focus, most of my work contains architectural elements. They suggest a human presence even when no figure is actually seen’.

Lipsey has recently exhibited at the Bay Art Gallery and the Wales Millenium Centre both in Cardiff.

Both artists’ works are reconstructions; Hannah Lipsey sets the scene and creates the tone of the events played out in Beth Banks paintings.

Private view / Golwg Breifat

Friday 27th April 2012 7 – 9.30PM
Gwener 27ain Ebrill 2012 7 – 9.30YP

Exhibition continues until 19th May 2012
Arddangosfa yn parhau tan 19ain Mai 2012

Open Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 5PM
Amserau agor Mawrth – Sadwrn 12 – 5YP

Admission free / Mynediad yn rhad ac am ddim