Gillian Jason Gallery launches ‘The Still Point’ a series of works by Nancy Cadogan
Gillian Jason Gallery, the UK’s first female focused commercial gallery space, is proud to present its latest exhibition ‘The Still Point’ a collection of works by celebrated figurative painter Nancy Cadogan.
The solo show, which launches on 13th June until the 2nd July, will see an intimate series of works depicting representations of traditional domestic scenes, showcasing the unifying deep thematic roots of literature, time and stillness.
The exhibited works celebrate the simplicity and beauty of the ordinary, placing particular emphasis on the often-forgotten joyfulness of solitude. Expressing the importance of ‘taking a moment’ while using the vantage point of the female gaze, these paintings show the restorative qualities imbued in tending to one’s own inner life: “after the two years we have all had we have learned how powerful it is for one’s mental health to be quiet and to indulge in solitude.” (Nancy Cadogan). The viewer is therefore encouraged to engage in mindful contemplation of each canvas and explore how we physically inhabit space whilst our thoughts travel through places, things and memories. Literature, a great influence in Cadogan’s practice, is of paramount importance in this series, as the depiction of books becomes a key expedient to unveil the dichotomies concealed in the ‘semi-dynamic still-lives.’ “It’s the idea of the body being still and the mind being completely free.” The works are peaceful, colourful, and carefully orchestrated to create a sense of harmony, but also encourage the mind to wander on a journey. Each work is a snapshot – a form of visual haiku – where the ordinary takes on an indefinable significance, evoking sensory moments of awareness with poetic sentiment.
These ethereal paintings are paired down cropped scenes of the everyday, executed in a carefully chosen colour palette of pinks, bottle greens or blue shadowy light. Evoking a sense of peace, these works also conjure unconscious feelings that are universally felt and can be recognised by all. The timeless, quiet, ‘unaloud’ paintings are stripped of noise to exude a stillness. The viewer becomes personally part of the creative process in that they ‘see’ and ‘experience’ these familiar and routine moments ‘anew’. Their own intuitive awareness and delicate perception of slow looking is engaged.
‘I am delighted to be showing at the Gillian Jason gallery, which solely represents female artists. Female storytelling is at the heart of my work, and so it is a pleasure to be exhibiting within this forum.’ Nancy Cadogan
The artist’s nuanced observations of domestic scenes combine elements of still life with the imagination, creating scenes of solitude without loneliness, still but not static. In these paintings Cadogan creates glimpses of stories unfolding beyond the frame. From the female figure in the company of her own reflection to the transient sunlight captured in a glass vase, the artist invites us into worlds that can be felt but not always seen. Open books suggest a story about to be told or yet to be written. This liminal space between here and there, then and now, open and closed, is woven throughout the collection and can perhaps be best put into words through the TS Eliot’s poem that inspired the title of the solo show:
“Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point.
Cadogan’s hugely successful 2019 show ‘Mind Zero’ at the Saatchi Gallery was hailed ‘as Heaven on a canvas’ by the Evening Standard. It signalled a new direction for the artist which saw her work shift from observational looking and perspective, to painting from the imagination
– a process she has found more challenging but also rewarding. Her development towards colour and movement has “enabled her to explore and create a more sensory experience that collapses boundaries between reality and the imagined…. and reward those who look deeply with care”. (Mind Zero)
Nancy Cadogan has been exhibiting her work globally since 2005 with shows in Rome, London, Oslo, Miami, New York and Southampton, USA. Her work now features in numerous private collections both in the UK and internationally.
Managing Director of Gillian Jason Gallery Elli Jason Foster says “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to show Nancy’s work and I feel as if this exhibition is able to speak of a joy that can be found in the female gaze. Cadogan’s practice opens a window into a utopistic reality that exists outside of the constant challenges and traumas affecting us on a daily basis, both as individuals and as society as a whole. In the contemplation of her canvases, our personal worlds are briefly instilled with the lightness of inner peace.”
The Still Point will be open from 13th July at Gillian Jason Gallery, 19 Great Titchfield Street. For further information please visit www.gillianason.com.