Ecology of Souls
Crisp outlines, marbelesque modelling, and three-quarter views coalesce to create six arresting figures that are both pattern-like and sculptural in this new – yet familiar – community of Peter Stichbury’s painterly world. The figures are reminiscent of fifteenth-century portraits, such as Rogier van der Weyden’s captivating Portrait of a Lady, with their strong, almost abstracted forms against plain backgrounds, their faces ethereally beautiful with elegant, exaggerated features, silky smooth skin and freshly brushed hair. The colours harmonise both within individual canvases and across the community of painted souls, as if to locate them all in a transcendent sphere somewhere else: creamy whites, cool blue-grays, pearly pinks, rich browns and smokey grisaille. Their hypnotic, searching stares, direct and unblinking, see through and above us, inside themselves, and out to the universe. Insistently seeing figures, they also probe for sound. All are positioned with an ear – a single, wonderfully tactile ear – primed to hear. The voices they have heard, the voices they seek? The voices of souls, the afterlife, protection and redemption.
– Erin Griffey
A full copy of the essay by Erin Griffey in association with this new body of work is available upon request. Please contact the gallery directly.