7 – 15 July 2018
Matt’s Gallery presents an exhibition of recent works by painter Nicola Bealing. Capital Crime draws its title from Bealing’s large scale work ‘Capital Crimes in Cornwall 1785–1882, Partially Obscured by Honeysuckle’ (2015). The work in ink & oil on linen draws imagery from an original document held in the collection of Helston Museum in Cornwall.
This grim document lists executions carried out in Cornwall and the crimes for which the sentence was issued. Felonies committed range from bestiality and infanticide to the stealing of watches and livestock. In the painting Bealing has skilfully translated these various nefarious deeds into simplified silhouetted scenes of violence, murder and criminality. Spreading over the surface honeysuckle branches partially obscure our views of the activity below.
Key themes in Bealing’s practice emerge from the addition of this decorative element; the artist sets into play an ambivalent reaction that vacillates between attraction and recoil. An absorbing, detailed and visually seductive surface belies the darker, disturbing subject matter beneath.
Alongside the larger paintings Bealing also works at a small-scale with oils on wood. These small pieces act as tests and experiments while also holding their own as works in the own right.
Capital Crime is the tenth in an on-going series of 10-day shows at Matt’s Gallery Bermondsey. For further information or visual material please contact us on 020 7237 0398 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Matt's Gallery thanks the Arts Council England and Ron Henocq Fine Art for their generous support.