Nicola Bealing, Party Rock (with Bones), 2020, oil on linen, 183 x 183cm
Nicola Bealing, Party Rock (with Bones), 2020, oil on linen, 183 x 183cm

Nicola Bealing, Party Rock (with Bones), 2020, oil on linen, 183 x 183cm

Nicola Bealing

Chapter 1: Dead-man's Fingers

1 February – 5 March 2023

Nine Elms

Private View: January 29 2023, 2-5pm

Matt’s Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition in two parts by Nicola Bealing. Drawing from two connected new bodies of work: Chapter 1 will present works from Dead-man’s Fingers and chapter 2, The Borough.

Dead-man’s Fingers is a body of work made during lockdown when total immersion in an alien world seemed a logical response to darkness beyond the studio door. The works developed into an intense investigation of heightened, imagined sub-marine landscapes. The maritime environment is seen as a place of threat. This darkness forms the perfect accompaniment to the Gothic horror explored in Chapter 2: The Borough.

The series comprises paintings and a series of newly developed 3D works which take their macabre title from the common name of a coral - Alcyonium digitatum. The works immediately precede The Borough and are linked through their depiction, investigation and study of fictionalised underwater worlds which drift between beauty and menace.

Apart from a few scattered teeth and finger-bones, there is little human presence in these still and strange paintings. They are quiet images of sub-marinescapes which revel in the act of painting. Colour is heightened, controlled elements contrast with the random outcomes of Rorschach blots and scrapes.

After storms, lost, battered boat fenders, buoys and crab-pot markers wash up along the coast - links between natural & man-made elements in the sea, but also the detritus and jetsam of other people’s lives. These inherently sculptural objects became the basis for suspended constructions. These sculptures grew slowly – clustering & spreading across the studio like an inverted reef.

The sculptural elements of Dead-man’s Fingers developed after the paintings, as if growing out of them like eerie 3-dimensional embodiments. They echo a vertiginous effect of submersion, a feeling of being below the surface & looking up.

Chapter 2: The Borough runs 15 March - 16 April.

6 Charles Clowes Walk, London, SW11 7AN

Train: Nine Elms Underground Station (Northern line) is approximately an 8 minute walk or Vauxhall Underground (Victoria Line) is a 10 minute walk.

Buses: 156, 344, 436 stop by the US Embassy and 77, 87, 196, 452, N87 by Nine Elms Station

Driving: Parking is very limited, we advise visitors to confirm local parking facilities in advance. Free parking for Blue Badge holders is available in and around Nine Elms on a first come first served basis. Free parking for limited time is available nearby Waitrose and Sainsbury’s car parks. Street parking is available after 5:30pm and at weekends on Wilcox Road near the Nine Elms tube station.