Nina Fowler Print is thrilled to announce our next guest artist, Hannah Bays. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts in 2015, Hannah’s debut solo show ‘Desire Peaks,’ was held at The Cob Gallery, London. The exhibition showcased a new body of paintings, from which these three exclusive prints are taken.
In these works expressive gesture counterpoints a more graphic ‘world of signs’, and it is the meeting point of these terrains that is of interest to the artist. This is underpinned by the artist’s palette, reminiscent of the pastel hues of 1950s consumer lust, where colour is applied to seduce and manipulate the spectator.
When asked why Nina chose these particular paintings to launch as limited edition prints she comments:
“These works by Hannah Bays struck me with immediacy. The colours, shapes and lines give me great pleasure in their boldness and vivacity. I love their apparent simplicity, which gives way to layer, upon layer of complexity. The beauty of Hannah’s paintings take my eyes from a gesture of immense colour to an illusionary hovering line. Above all, I love the female character recurrent in all three works. She is cartoon-like, yet alive. She is composed of just a few lines, yet recognisable. She is vintage, yet modern. She is glamorous, yet complicated. She is an enigma.”
Contemplating ‘desire’ as the crux of the creative process, Hannah is interested in human drives and the construction of meaning in our lives There is a psychosexual underpinning in much of her imagery, the subject of female desire being an under-represented discussion even in modern western society.
We asked Hannah a few questions about her work:
NFP: Is there a predominant medium you work with and if so why?
HB: I paint in oils as they are so versatile in effect and application, whilst the natural vivacity of colour is something I don’t feel acrylic can muster.
NFP: Can you tell us why you wanted to collaborate with Nina Fowler Print?
HB: I have long admired Nina’s work and this is a great way to produce affordable reproductions of my paintings at an ideal size for the home.
NFP: Can you tell us about the 3 works of yours featured on Nina Fowler Print, do you consider them a triptych?
HB:The three images all feature the same line motif and I see them as variations on a theme. I like to play with alternatives and possibilities and explore divergent paths.
NFP: Both your work and Nina’s seems to be concerned with desire, in particular the gap between desire and reality. Is this a theme you’ve been exploring for awhile?
HB: Desire is a pertinent subject today, as ever. It is both a positive force and also something constantly manipulated by consumer culture. Once the object of focus is obtained, desire has already moved on to the next goal, never sated – on an endlessly rotating wheel.
NFP: If our readers wanted to see more of your work, do you have any recommendations for upcoming exhibitions they should visit?
HB: I am to be involved in the next Integrity Painting Prize that is to be held in London towards the end of the year – date and location to be confirmed. I have a couple of other things in the pipeline in the New Year but am mainly concentrating on a new body of work in the studio.
Bays has work in the Jerwood, Hiscox and Soho House collections, was awarded a Jerwood Purchase prize in 2014 and the Agnes Ethel Mackay travel award in 2015.
We are so excited to collaborate with such a talented painter and to have the privilege of launching this beautiful triptych on Nina Fowler Print.
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