Cuturi Gallery is pleased to present Snakes and Lanterns by Lindsey Jean McLean (b. 1991, United Kingdom), marking her inaugural solo exhibition in Southeast Asia. Immersing herself in the vibrant tapestry of Kampong Glam, McLean distils the essence of the city’s architecture, hues and scent onto her canvases. Snakes and Lanterns displays her experience during her residency in Singapore, translating these encounters onto her canvases.
Diverging from her previous artistic endeavours, this series of work introduces a bold infusion of colour and form deconstruction into McLean’s practice, resulting in a mesmerizing fusion of abstraction and figuration. Her time in Singapore has pushed the boundaries of intuition beyond illusion, signifying a notable evolution in these works.
Recurring motifs such as fans, feather boas, and veils take on profound significance within McLean’s artistic discourse. These motifs challenge conventional interpretations of femininity in art history, engaging with contemporary perspectives on gender, sexuality and power dynamics. One of the most used motifs – the veil, disrupts the engagement the viewers would have with figures in a painting. It serves as an intriguing juxtaposition of invitation and concealment and this barrier allows freedom for the figures in her works to control the viewer’s gaze.
McLean’s paintings also explore the medium itself, with each fluid brushstroke forming lyrical compositions that transition gracefully between pure figuration and abstraction. Despite the harmonious interplay of colour and form and the opulent accoutrements, they have a sense of unease. This unsettling atmosphere is attributed to the enigmatic shroud veiling the faces of her subjects. Even when their eyes are visible, upon closer inspection, it appears as though they gaze past the viewer, fixating onto the distant horizon. The evocative emotions conveyed through these distant gazes intensify the enigma, infusing the paintings with a distinctly contemporary sensibility.
Emotion serves as the driving force behind each of McLean’s creations, with her paintings evolving organically throughout the creative process. She meticulously layers shapes, beginning with a single colour, allowing figures to emerge and dissolve within the canvas. These expressive brushstrokes function as a narrative conduit, lending tangible form to intangible emotions.
Snakes and Lanterns interweaves personal experiences, emotions and artistic techniques into a harmonious tapestry that invites viewers to embark on their emotional odyssey through colour, form and sentiment.
Venue: Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street Singapore 199937
When: 7 Oct - 5 Nov 2023, 12pm - 7pm Tuesday to Saturday
By: Cuturi Gallery