Canvas :: Hanna Kay @ Wilson St Gallery

September 28th 2011

The circle is what entices contemporary painter Hanna Kay most. She is an artist who is almost addicted to the natural environment – an artist who draws inspiration from all things circular. In her latest show, Circularity, currently showing at Wilson Street Gallery at Danks, Kay offers us a collection of paintings that behave as Mecca’s of all things delicate where there is an intersection between banal subject matter and the ethereal way in with they are presented. Working with oil and tempera on linen, Kay’s works are photo-realistic in nature, but also remaining in tack at the very epicentre of each painting is an exploration of what may lie beyond the 2D form from which we view them.

There is no mistaking what Kay is painting. Fragments of our natural world such as grass, rocks and pebbles create vivid images full of warmth. Attributed to her technique where layers of white tempera is built up to create the effect of dispersed natural light, Kay’s works speak of an incredibly real vista into our natural surrounds. Her work titled Borderline depicts grassy shards in the form of a semi circle on hot sand – it is up to its audience to complete the rest of the circle. An undeniable investigation of modes of viewing and ideas of interior verses exterior, the work demonstrates just how complex Kay’s artistic philosophies are and just how refined her technical skill is.

Her work Concave/Convex has an elevated level of depth. It’s almost as if we can launch our hand into the work and expect for it to become within the pictorial frame. With a striking 3D effect and depicting composite images of boulders – one above and one beneath ground surface, the work assists viewers in understanding how each circular shape cannot be considered mutually exclusive from one another.

In effect, Kay’s exhibition Circularity sets us up to discover the profound qualities to be found in the natural environment and how this world is often dominated by circular shapes. There is a certain fragility and transience to all her paintings – a quality that is more often than not incredibly difficult to achieve in art. Kay’s works, are on all levels commendable and invite us to find definitive beauty in the world at large.

What: Hanna Kay’s Circularity

Where: Wilson Street Gallery at Danks, Waterloo

When: Until October 15th

How much: Free


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