Vicky Wright Guardian LVIII 2011 Oil on panel 80 x 65 cm/ 32 x 26 inches
Inspired by a strange piece of found literature (the ‘Garments of the Dominators’ of the show’s title) claiming to identify the conspiracy behind 2011’s London riots, artist Vicky Wright has produced a compelling show that draws the viewer close before delivering a sucker punch of uneasiness.
Like all the best pop songs, Wright’s work is an artistic response to a contemporary trouble, delivered with a light touch that instantly engages. Just as the Shangri-La’s catchy melodic riffs hid unspeakably dark lyrics, this accomplished colourist, whose painterly technique delivers echoes of Braque and Bacon, captures the eye with a light palette, rewarding closer viewing with recurrent motifs of staring eyes, capturing the paranoiac intensity and uneasiness of post riot London.
The artist’s choice of art packing crates as canvases for the work creates a sense of dislocation that conveys itself successfully into the gallery space – the materiality of the packing cases supporting the sense of impermanence and opportunism that informs the content.
Words: Hannah Hayes-Westall
Until 6th July 2012 at Josh Lilley Gallery