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15 Sep 10 - 15 Jan 11

Idolum - at Studio Giangaleazzo Visconti, Milan

Boo Saville



The first solo show in Italy by British artist Boo Saville will present new work exploring the artist’s discovery and representation of found images, and the delicate balance between a direct link with the original depiction and the otherworldliness of the scenes encompassed. The name ‘Idolum’ refers to the word meaning a phantom appearance or image, which can also be a mental image or idea.

The images are sourced through various means, but primarily the internet, as well as archeological textbooks and documentary guides on subjects that have long fascinated the artist - mummies, death scenes, anatomical studies to name a few. The show will present paintings derived from photographs found in these sources, translated into ephemeral and beautifully figurative works. The documentary assumes a narrative, as Saville embodies her palatte with the mellow tones of the original image, while the brushstrokes distance the viewer from a literal depiction of the original. There will be 5 square paintings 1 metre wide, with subjects ranging from friendly ghosts, clowns to seascapes, with small gessoed panels of graveyards, notably Pere lachaise in Paris. Here in essence is nature asserting its dominance in the eyes of human existence and mortality, the roots grow up from around the base of tombs whilst from above branches cast shadows in the unforgiving sunlight.

The show is the culmination of an obsessive collection of images. Hunting the internet Saville is interested in the lost and ephemeral nature of these photographs. "I am attracted both to the abstract nature of these images but also in the long process of obtaining them, like special fragments of the past. I see them as objects in themselves and capture moments of wonder or camera errors which reveal a hidden movement or moment. I am fascinated by the ridiculous nature of superstitions and religions and want to harness this imagery. For me this hunt makes the images so intimate, I feel I am weaving someone else's story into my own."