Lucinda Metcalfe: Open Sky

by Cass Art

An Officer and a Gentleman. Fatal Attraction. Titanic, Grease, The Godfather - what do all these great movies have in common? They are all stamped with the Paramount movie logo, their opening credits preceded by the mountainous peak and ring of stars.

But few people know that the logo is also the starting point for some of Lucinda Metcalfe's paintings.

The London-based artist sees the film logo's peak as pointing towards nirvana; a Utopia which can be summoned in all our creative minds. Such optimism is reflected in the vibrant colours of her paintings.

An exhibition of Metcalfe's work, called Open Sky, will be showing at Bearspace in Deptford High Street, London, until the 27th June. 

Lucinda Metcalfe

Metcalfe's colour palette conjures up a sense of longing and wonder about warm weather idylls, whilst simultaneously resonating with a bleak kind of realism. This is reflected in the title of the exhibition -Open Sky is a book penned by the pessimistic, cautionary French philosopher Paul Virilio. In it, the author warns us of the impending day when days as we know them no longer arrive - providing us with a dark and inevitable prophecy. 

He goes on to say these could be superseded by what he sees as socially eroding surveillance and communication technologies, and the destruction of the here and now - of real places and experience.

In her exhibition, Metcalfe mirrors Virilio's prophecies, seeing the sky as simultaneously closed, yet open; a wall that is indicative of freedom.

She is fascinated by the obsession that 21st Century society has with travel and pictures, all promising so much, yet unable to deliver on any of them. 

Open Sky also includes Metcalfe's large-scale painting, Pink Wall. It depicts a screen, a theatrical void where all things appear to have ground to a halt. Free of images, it exists simply as a two-dimensional space.

Pink Wall

The screen represents contemporary frustrations and blockages which have come to challenge modern-day man - perhaps not helped by the amount of data now at our fingertips.

An intense, vibrant red laces Metcalfe's work, suggestive of the ersatz nature of screens, the spaces that people are using more and more to interact and experience the planet.

And yet despite all the worry and the warnings, both Metcalfe and Virilio seem to leave us with one glimmer of hope. Perhaps mankind can stay stimulated by our uniquely human consciousness as long as we remain flesh and blood.

Lucinda Metcalfe's previous projects have included working for the musician Imogen Heap and exhibiting in hip galleries such as the Pump House.

Open Sky will be running at Bearspace from 30th May to 27th June, and is open from 10am-6pm Wednesday to Saturdays. 

Feeling inspired?

Shop online for all your art and painting materials, including Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint and Watercolour.

Grab yourself a pack of Sennelier Soft Pastels of 40 Assorted Colours to achieve the hazy colour effects that Metcalfe achieves in her paintings - but do it without the paint!

Don't forget to follow Cass Art on Facebook and Twitter or leave a comment below to tell us what you think of Open Sky.  

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