Grove Square Galleries are proud to present ‘Shapeshifters’, the first solo show of British contemporary artist Orlanda Broom’s abstract works which burst with explosive movement, fluid shapes, and a playful colour palette in a riotous celebration of colour, form, and technique.
The title of the exhibition evokes the idea of transience and the chimeric nature of what it means to be human, animal, or even an inanimate object – embracing the mystery that surrounds this change and transition. In ‘Shapeshifters’, the artist becomes the ‘shape shifter’ in quite literal, non-mythological terms and is the creator of this transfiguration, capturing the movement and warping of the resin on her canvas. The way in which the paintings are made also relates to this metamorphosis taking place; taking the liquid, runny-honey consistency of resin and setting it into a hard, glass-like surface.
Inspired by the action paintings, or gestural abstraction, of abstract expressionists including Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky, the specific processes involved in making these paintings are instrumental in their creation. “Working in this way gives me the freedom to work quickly, and dynamically, at one with the movement of the resin and also at the whim of the material.”, Broom explains, “I have an understanding of how the medium will flow, but I’m only in control to a certain extent as the flow of the resin and merging colours have so many variables.”
Abstract, expressive works often invite their own interpretation and Broom’s work is no exception. In fact, the artist relishes the reinterpretation of her shapeshifting works, saying: “I’m interested in the interpretation of abstract works. I enjoy that people respond and read the paintings in their own way. I like making space for the personal, subjective response of the viewer and I have a strong desire to allow the viewer their own flow of thought”. Conjuring a multitude of interpretations, each canvas is intended to be ambiguous – reflecting feelings, attitudes, floral, fauna, and movements to evoke a highly personal experience that captures the imagination of the viewer.