A small collection of new figurative paintings by Clare Bonnet in Deck the Walls! shows a compelling development of her work. A new fluidity of line has established a greater abstraction of her compositions, the figures softer but still with a solid weight and presence. She regards this new work as 'gestural expressions of the female form reclaiming space in a ‘post’ covid era.'
By including flat areas of colour, often in geometric shapes, angles and intersecting lines, Clare increases the sense of reduction, perhaps referencing the shapes of the body by echoing the contour of an arm or the outline of shoulders. Rather than portraits, these studies have universal quality with the aim to express thoughts and experiences common to us all.
A recently introduced technique is the use of multiple layers of gesso which is pulled across the surface of the board with a plasterer’s skim tool. Clare says: 'The surface is smooth, with blemishes that reveal the layering. It takes on a marble effect, referencing luminous skin, classical sculpture and time elapsed.'
Clare is a confident and skilful figurative painter and this new work is a distilled rendition of the classical nude and has a timeless quality.
Background colours in soft pinks, blues and ochre bring to mind mid-century aesthetics - elegant and sophisticated yet earthy and uncomplicated.