Creative Freelance Illustartors, Designers, Artists, Writers

Annabel Mednick: solo show
Graham & Oldham, Electric House, Peel St, Ipswich.
Until February 28th, 2004
Review by Daniel Rounding.

Over looking the stairs is Intimacy, (1977). For me this cosily timeless family scene neatly sets the tone for the remainder of the show in Arthur Oldham's roomy art bunker. The remainder of the paintings are an extension of Annabel's kindred friends and contacts, welcoming you to her world of experiment and expression.

Exploring. This is another appropriate word, beginning exp, suited to describing some of the work. Naked and rough studio sketches offering no apology inside their frames. Strongly contrasting with large finished canvases hung alongside. The latter vying for your attention with bold neon like colours, which, paradoxically, were simply pinned to the wall; minus stretchers and all.

So many different styles and media. The hang has been done with care though to ensure the viewer isn't confused with a magpie's haphazard hoard. Paintings large and small are grouped together in series, with the artist's comments adjacent. That is such an important plus point, so many art works fail their viewers due to the lack of any interpretative text. An avoidable loose / loose situation, and something I feel very strongly about.

The three studies "...for Spiral in White..." – Matron, Mother and Maid, are very bright and compelling. Set in their own corner, the elderly of the three is more distinctive than her younger counter parts, an attribute of age perhaps. The maid being dreamily abstracted.

Annabel makes many statements with her work all the while celebrating her femininity, and that of many of her friends. The feminine theme is the heart and pulse of Annabel's practice. For her this is a conscious process, one that seeks to embrace the whole spectrum of emotions within the human or hue-woman experience. It's a very personal domain capturing that essence of self relating to your sex. With this artist there's a journey here still in the undertaking, but with a growing and justified confidence in the course steered.

Keeping to a nautical theme, this show is a happy landings. A staging post all creatives can relate to as we attempt to bring our various flashes of genius to safe harbour. I heartily recommend you to enjoy it while it's on.

--Daniel Rounding, Feb 2004.