I was given the opportunity to host by Turf to host a virtual feedback session. It wasn’t my first lockdown virtual crit, they have been invaluable to maintaining my practice through the pandemic.
The session was an intimate one with two artists showing work, Patricia Bidi and Sabrina Shah.
Patricia opened the crit by showing us a couple of her lino prints, one blue and the other orange. We spoke for a time about the blue print, the shifting nature of the print, where different aspects are revealed as one spends time with it: someone remarked that the faces weren’t noticeable until I’d mentioned it, while for me the face were the first visible thing.
The sensations and mood of the painting were also a topic of discussion: the flowing lines, plants gave a warm, tranquil vibe, feeling what I’d imagine I’d feel standing in a golden field in the countryside, cool wind blowing, face turned up the sun, happy and content. The cool tone of the print didn’t reduce the warmth exuded by the images, actually amplified it, and this led us into speaking about the importance of colour and tone on the feelings generated by print images. This conversation took us nicely into discussing the second print Patricia showed us which was a hospital scene.
We chatted about Patricia’s process: she makes these lino prints anywhere, in her home, in a cafe, at the park. We were all delighted at this travelling and portable practice of printmaking; the meditative nature of printing.
Before Sabrina began speaking about their work, we all spoke briefly about taking time for ourselves and practice, of slowing down and transforming. I think the size of the group for the session created this opportunity for intimacy and sharing, we really were able to spend time speaking about our motivations, drives, worries, and other dramas of our lives.
Sabrina paintings were very rich, layered and textured, sometimes lighthearted and always humorous. She was in her studio for the session and so was able to show us a few of her paintings and we were able to get a sense of scale which I think really helped the feedback and reading of the works.
She uses a lot of collage in her work and we spoke about using different materials and fabric, even painting on different objects like furniture, to bring in more sculptural elements to the work. We spent time with bananas. Her work even took us to that terribly botched restoration of a painting of Jesus. I’m always interested in the different path artwork can take you/open up for you.
I really enjoyed that we were concerned with formal elements of art works in this session, thinking about how colours affect mood, how the eye is drawn towards particular shapes in a painting. It felt very much like the body and sensations were being centred in the experience of art and not simply the cerebral.
Thanks to Ebun Sodipo for hosting last month’s session! Our artist feedback sessions run every month. Check our upcoming page for the next date!