‘Reveries’ is an exhibition of two British painters, Gill Button & William Brickel, who explore the need for physical contact in a time of social distance and isolation.
Gill Button paints memories of faces glimpsed in the street, on the flash on a screen, or in a private moment. Some of her small portraits use thick layers of paint, luxuriating in the lushness of the material. But many of Gill’s new portraits have a hazier quality, as if the subject were at a distance, almost fading out of sight or floating in the mist of memory. Alongside these, larger cinematic works capture special moments by a lake, in a wood, or in bed with another. Torrid skies heavy with weather cast their shadows like the anxieties of isolation. Throughout her portraits, Gill combines magical solitude with a melancholy longing for connection.
William Brickel’s paintings explore how memories of past experiences become embellished through the act of recollection. His domestic compositions depict figures folded and intertwined, as if obeying a harmonic ideal. The characters, however, seem curiously detached, distracted eyes indicating they are enveloped not by each other but by their own thoughts. Distorted limbs contribute to this sense of displacement, hinting at how memory re-shapes what we first perceive to create a new and stranger truth. At the same time, oversize hands and the knotting of limbs articulate a desire for connection and physical touch. Through his weaving of bodies William balances the tangible with the psychological, and in doing so probes the gap between the two.