Gabriella Schofield

2018,  BA (Hons) Fine Art, University of Brighton

"In the age of digital screens and image saturation, our relationship with visual information has transformed. Images surround us, lit up briefly in coloured pixels, and disappear at the tap of a button. I aim to ask: how can painting function within this fast-paced image culture? My paintings celebrate material qualities specific to paint, using a visual language that is inspired by, but also takes refuge from the way we look at screens. I have combined flattened planes of space with gestural marks, echoing the geometric shape of a handheld device, while emphasising the presence of the body. I want to compare the way we look at screens with the way we look at art, and create something that calls for a different, slower viewing experience. Using the internet, it is now easier than ever to be directly influenced from a vast reservoir of past artistic styles. I intend to re-engage with them to see how they apply to different contexts. For example, the Abstract Expressionist movement (1940s 1960s) used techniques that were often gendered as male. However, in today’s postfeminist context, I am interested in how they can also be used to describe femininity. I fill canvasses with medium-sized activity, often in a loose, quilt-like pattern. It could even be compared to stereotypical female behaviour: a chore-like, repetitive activity. However, covering the canvas is never the end point: from there opens up a myriad of possibilities. What happens if the shapes weave under and over each other? Or if colour is used transparently to reveal previous layers? Or, can an opaque design appear flatter than the painted patchwork altogether? This on-going dialogue with 20th century abstraction provides fertile ground for the future development of abstract painting. My work aims to explore my position as a female abstract painter in the post-digital age."
Flashlight
Oil on canvas
120 cm x 150 cm
After Degas
Oil on canvas
100 cm x 100 cm 
Untitled
Oil on canvas
180 cm x 150 cm

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