by: Leanna Davies
at: The Dukes Gallery, Lancaster
2 to 13 July 2012
A solo exhibition by Leanna Davies consisting of eight paintings
undertaken using coloured fibre tip pens. The works are all of
approximately A3 size, framed and mounted at eye level around three
walls of the gallery.
22 year-old Leanna Davis is a final year student at Lancaster's Beaumont College and she and members of her family have suffered from eye problems. In
this exhibition Leanna created a piece of artwork to portray the
difference eye care can make to people's lives, and this aim accounts
for the rather clever title of this exhibition. Despite the artist's
use of a linear medium (fibre pens), the overwhelming impression was of
multiple blocks of varied colours, giving an impression of great freedom
and vibrancy. In a minority of paintings the colours were somewhat
muted, in others they were very bright and vivid. One can speculate
that this contrast was an attempt to demonstrate the difference that can
be made by successful eye care.
Two of the artworks featured large figures in the foreground drawn in a
semi-abstract, childlike fashion. This proved very effective in
conveying an impression of a life force and a real presence.
One of the artworks was a collage including photographs of the artist.
Another seemed to be a self portrait, again drawn in a childlike,
primitive style, perhaps symbolising a new beginning following a triumph
The different art works did not have titles and there were no
explanations of the motivation of each painting. This may have been
deliberate, to emphasise the unity of the exhibition and to discourage
the analysis of the work on a piecemeal basis. Either way this did not
detract from the appreciation of the work. Sheets of paper was
available for the viewer to record impressions of the work.
In its entirety the exhibition proved to be very uplifting with the
individual works complementing each other, leaving the observer with a
feeling of optimism. This may reflect the optimism of the artist
herself that her work has progressed her chosen charity. A printout of
the artwork was used to raise funds for the international charity
'Sightsavers'. She has also produced a film for Sightsavers which can be seen on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElrJCkgDb8Y).
The Dukes Gallery, Moor Lane Lancaster, LA1 1QE, is open from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday. Entrance is free. Please call the box office on 01524 598500 to check opening times if you’re making a special journey as occasionally the space is closed to the public.
Peter Clarke for Virtual-Lancaster