Artist's Statement: Tahnee Lonsdale on her new show at Redchurch Street Gallery

By Ben Miller | 06 June 2013

Artist's Statement: Painter Tahnee Lonsdale on fears, meanings, self-help books and abundant colour ahead of her new exhibition in London...

A photo of a woman in profile
“This series of work is titled Waiting For Entry Into That Holy Place. It is a very personal delve into myself and the people closest to me, but it also tackles a subject close to the fears and anxieties of most.

At the heart of my work lies an endless search. In the literal sense this has been about telling a story, but more recently the searching has turned inward.

In previous works I have depicted a journey made by ambiguous characters – a trail of wanton, fearful animals, clipping at the heals of those in front to escape whatever chases. They search for the light.

Now this idea of searching has moved into a more conceptual place, searching and scratching the ground beneath us for meaning.

I feel surrounded by the fears that arise from lack of meaning. That empty hole we stuff with wadding.

It’s like filling it with potions or striking one damp match after another. Shelves stacked full of self-help books do little to quell the rising anxiety. Time is ticking and running away with me.

In this series I have also flipped the perspective. Previously the viewer was looking upon a world from afar, peering through windows and wondering what was on the inside, gazing voyeuristically at the activities of others.

Now there is a feeling of being on the inside looking out. The viewer has travelled through the little window and is now sitting on the shelf in the metaphorical living room.

The characters are all still there but they are much bigger. It isn’t so much about the world around you anymore but the personal world within you.

Deciphering my art is probably like unravelling my most private thoughts. The question ‘what are we doing here’ arises often.

There is a loss of reality, a ‘falling through a hatch door that leads nowhere’ kind of fear.

I have always been very clear about the importance of colour in my work, and in this series this is has never been more evident.

Colour lifts my work from the macabre and burdening to the lighter echelons of frivolity and pop culture. But scratch the surface and a whole new world is revealed."

  • Tahnee Lonsdale – Waiting for Entry into that Holy Place runs June 11-16 2013 at the Redchurch Street Gallery, London.
    Presented by Roberta Moore Contemporary.

More pictures:

An image of an abstract painting of pink dogs standing on a table
Alchemy© Tahnee Lonsdale
An image of an abstract painting of various figures on a blood red table
Vatican Slumber Party© Tahnee Lonsdale
An image of an abstract painting of various figures around a green and brown backdrop
Setteeville© Tahnee Lonsdale
An image of an abstract painting of various small figures around a pink background
Search For the Holy Grail© Tahnee Lonsdale
An image of an abstract painting of various small figures around a turquoise background
Darlinghood© Tahnee Lonsdale
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