Freya Nash: Thresholds

15 – 19 September 2020

Thresholds, doorways, new beginnings. The seen and unseen. Embodiments of transformation. Unescapable change containing mess, grace and violence.

No truths in the world are untouched by human hands
mixed media on canvas

Tracing veins and colouring shadows, fixing the unreachable in place. Monotonous stabbing allows patterns to remain whilst shy statements hide behind feeble curtains. The ineffectual concealment of a purging through paint and the piecing together of severed parts. Simultaneously sacred and sordid, pure whilst rooted in darkness. Folds and creases reveal internal structures. Uncovering perverse nostalgia for untethered times. All is held together by staples and thread.

Moving beyond purely somatic representation of the visceral, these works act as windows conveying inner reaction and outer response.

Reflection and repetition result in a cleansing of the stains of time and personal experience. Experimentation with materiality and process used to explore the possibility of making these feelings tangible. Moving beyond figuration to some something deeper and more personal – to represent the body and self without its presence.

Impermanence mixed media on canvas

These performative paintings hold aesthetic juxtapositions between spontaneity and consideration. Primal gestures using fingers and hands are coupled with the control and precision of the brush and needle. The visceral substance of paint is held in union with the subversive nature of stitching as something delicate yet violent, whilst skins of varying opacities stretched across the anatomy of the canvas are both revealing and concealing. This dynamic balance of opposites is used to convey the tension created when marking boundaries of intimacy and revelation.

Process becomes form as gestures of smearing, dripping, stabbing, layering act as cathartic release of emotion on naked, raw canvas and translucent veils. Through this use of tactile materiality and marking making, a duality arises as the pieces also become non-figurative imitations of the body – sites of bruises, scars and healing stitches. This series of work acts as a manifestation of the human condition and an affected perception of the body as something transient, imperfect, a site of damage but also of growth and renewal. 

Freya Nash (b.1995) is a London-based artist and graduate from Central Saint Martins. Her practice is rooted in a concern with the visceral, both literally and figuratively, and the inner self. Using predominantly oil painting to explore the abject internal body and raw, base emotion she brings to light what often remains inside. Standing as a hybrid between figuration and abstraction much of her work conveys the juxtaposition between the visceral reality and violence of the internal body whilst revealing the beauty and sensuality of it. Portraying the fluid and organic whilst rooted of ‘horror’ of the anatomical.