06 May 10 - 29 May 10
Trolley Gallery is proud to present the second solo show at Trolley of Nina Gehl, this new series of work presents paintings created through mixing the oil medium with the ash from burnt wood, to create subtle and intriguing portraits of women and girls.
Fetches refers to the visible ghost or spirit of a person, it references the images in the show: missing girls who may or may not be living now, who in the paintings appear from the physical remnants of the different grades of ash, from darkest black to palest grey.
There have always been traces of absent figures, lost souls, and ghostly presences in Gehl's work. This recent series is a further exploration into the notion of ‘loss’ and a type of returning to portraiture, drawing on her original training in figurative and portrait painting, and also personal experiences, the final results are almost murky, liquid, and ghostly. The images are derived from found photographs: Victorian cabinet cards, pictures of missing persons on the internet, photographs of unidentified of unknown relatives posted on websites, and the paintings are an embodiment of something lost; they confound and subversively comment on the traditions of portraiture, its history and its banality.
The use of ash becomes almost a metaphor for what Gehl was trying to exhume from these paintings, sifting through layers of ash as though sifting through memories to reveal captured moments, not wanting them to be forgotten or consigned to the past alone.