Overview

We are pleased to present ‘Muse’, an exhibition that looks at how artists find inspiration and focus in a world saturated with visual stimuli. The show features the work of two contemporary painters: Gill Button and Sikelela Owen.

Gill Button’s paintings draw from the constant stream of images that flash before us in the media. Her muses are fashion icons or fleeting glimpses of models which she then interprets with a fluid, gestural style. Echoes of recognition and subtle studies of patterns hint back to her source material, but there is something much more personal in Gill’s work. Appropriated images become invested with feelings; portraits of strong identities are tempered with the fragility of fame. Gill uses the public eye as a frame through which to channel emotional identification so that her works become less about the subject, and more a question of the emotional makeup of the image, and of how the viewer gives them meaning.

In contrast, Sikelela Owen’s subjects are as close as they can be: images of family and friends, of domestic life, of moments of rest and relaxation. Both in her choice of subject and in her use of paint, Sikelela strips away all external noise and focuses only on what matters in a kind of emotional essentialism. This dedication to intimacy lends her paintings a sense of strength, as if through searching for the precious in the everyday, Sikelela traces the shape of something subtly empowering. This is work in which a domestic muse is used to provoke a very different response in her viewer: one of identification not with the image, but with the special sense of community and the family ties that the paintings imply.

 

Press Coverage

Creative Boom article here
Art Daily article here
Considering Art article here

Artworks

Gill Button | Vesta
Gill Button
Vesta
Gill Button | Marcella
Gill Button
Marcella
Gill Button | Lucine
Gill Button
Lucine
Gill Button | Helene
Gill Button
Helene
Gill Button | Remain
Gill Button
Remain
Gill Button | Little Wing
Gill Button
Little Wing
Gill Button | Dorelia
Gill Button
Dorelia
Gill Button | Clara
Gill Button
Clara
Gill Button | Black Lights
Gill Button
Black Lights
Gill Button | Chimere
Gill Button
Chimere
Gill Button | Beatrijs
Gill Button
Beatrijs
Gill Button | Alice
Gill Button
Alice
Sikelela Owen RA | Linnie Side Eye
Sikelela Owen RA
Linnie Side Eye
Sikelela Owen RA | Bobo
Sikelela Owen RA
Bobo
Sikelela Owen RA | Teddy Bears Picnic
Sikelela Owen RA
Teddy Bears Picnic
Sikelela Owen RA | David
Sikelela Owen RA
David
Sikelela Owen RA | Green Girls
Sikelela Owen RA
Green Girls
Sikelela Owen RA | Playtime (Viv)
Sikelela Owen RA
Playtime (Viv)

Installation Images