Arusha Gallery presents – Beasts by Helen Flockhart with work from Beth Carter
Arusha Gallery are excited to welcome back award-winning Scottish artist Helen Flockhart this November as she returns to the Edinburgh gallery with sculptor Beth Carter for their new exhibition Beasts. Running from the 26 November until 20 December 2020 both artists will be unveiling new works in their first joint exhibition.
Evoking a mythological realm, featuring characters plucked from genesis, legend, and the Greek myths, Beasts comprises a total of 27 pieces including 21 new oil paintings by Flockhart and 6 sculptures courtesy of Carter. From labyrinths and minotaurs to fauns, fowl and centaurs, the legendary iconography present in both artist’s work encourages the viewer to confront the chaos of the human condition.
Having received huge acclaim for her sold out 2018 exhibition at Arusha Gallery, Helen Flockhart (b.1963) is one of the finest and most distinctive Scottish artists of her generation. Her work breaks with established convention, comprising a blend of portrait and landscape and her unique style combines intricate patterns, backdrops of lush foliage, and surreal scenes that appear suspended in time. Her paintings are verdant, fantastical paeans to that particularist genre of British myth making centred on pastures, mountains and divinity.
Flockhart often draws creative inspiration from esoteric and mythical sources and in Beasts, characters imbued with cultural and mythological connotations, such as swans, snakes, leopards, lions, centaurs and stags, roam across canvases contrasting in colour palette, from dark and mystical, to light and almost divine.
Sculptor Beth Carter (b.1968) has a fascination with the human condition, something that audiences viewing her work will immediately appreciate. The universality of mythic narratives, and the symbols, characters and exploits that are thrown up by it, are prominent features of a body of work that is as stunning visually as it is conceptually and technically.
Carter’s work often morphs the human figure with animal creating mythological creatures and extraordinary fictional compositions. Beasts features 6 of Carter’s sculptures, 4 in her favoured medium of bronze, 1 in bronze resin and the remaining piece made from a mix of plaster, wood, acrylic and fabric. Animated by the confidence of history, anchored by the ancient narratives they reference, her figures nonetheless exhibit the uneasy disconsolation of our time: an era in which monkey, not the organ grinder, seems a hero better suited, more representational, to the modern myth.
Beasts Exhibition Text
Sundry Beasts roam these paintings: the minotaur; feared and loathed, rapacious devourer of human flesh, but equally a victim of the circumstances which conspired to create him (wasn't every monster once a child?); lions and serpents which populate re-imaginings of Eve; and a listless centaur cowers in the presence of Athena, bedecked in a pelt of Medusa heads.
These beasts provide a metaphor for the bestial aspects of human nature and also the vulnerability and pathos therein: the whole messy mix which constitutes humanity. The way we view the tropes expounded within stories - from Greek myth, from Genesis, from legend - whether perpetuated or subverted, tells us much about ourselves in the here and now.
Agnieszka Prendota, Creative Director at Arusha Gallery said: “I am delighted to see Helen exhibit with us once again this year and very excited to see Beth Carter’s work on display alongside given the rich thematic symmetry in each artists work. Both of these artists have incredibly distinct styles and yet the synergy between their subject matter makes this collaboration highly intuitive and cohesive.
At a time when everyone is feeling the strain and constraints of the pandemic, an exhibition like Beasts which questions the human condition and our role in the world, provides a relevant space for reflection and perhaps a much-needed temporary portal of escape to another world.”
Helen Flockhart said: “I am delighted to be returning to the beautiful Arusha Gallery with these new paintings, and to have them showing along side Beth Carter's sculptures which I admire so much. Being immersed in the focus of producing these works has enabled me to escape from the constraints imposed on us all in this past year by allowing my imagination to fly free.”
For further information including review, interview and images requests please contact Kate Bouchier-Hayes on 078 25335489 / [email protected] or Sarah Drummond on 07741316934 / [email protected]
Exhibition Dates: 26th November – 20th December 2020
Beasts is also presented online via www.arushagallery.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/arushagalleryArusha Gallery Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1pm to 5pm.
** Arusha Gallery has measures in place to ensure social distancing is maintained to ensure our visitors and staff are protected and a high level of hygiene is maintained.**