Thursday, 12 July 2012

In Review: EyeSee - Leanna Davies Exhibition at the Dukes

'EyeSee': a solo exhibition 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 over adversity.

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. 
www.dukes-lancaster.org

Peter Clarke for Virtual-Lancaster

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