From Andrew Frost…
In Petrina Hicks’s The Shadows the new work is split into two very different parts. On the one hand there is the more familiar style that has made Hicks an artist who produces highly recognisable work – the smooth but soft look of imagery she has made her own, those large scale prints replete with powerful iconography such as fearsome dogs, soft faces, shot against infinite backgrounds of studio cycloramas, all colour corrected and art directed to the nth degree. In the other section we have a more atypical look: faux-classical imagery of nude models, Madonna and child, classical pottery and a black crow. The images are created using models and objects dressed up in yellow, magenta and cyan against backgrounds of neutral mid-grey.
The puzzle of the show is the relationship between one set of images and the other: is there a relationship at all? The atypical images are like cryptic comments on the process of colour image making and the faux classical subjects more generic test-card than a stylistic quotation. The hero image of the show, and the picture on the gallery invitation, is Hicks’s Venus: a shell held up against a face that we can now only imagine.
Until October 5,
Stills Gallery, Paddington.
Pic: Petrina Hicks, Venus, 2013. Pigment print, 100x100cms.