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Thu 15 Jul 2021 – Sun 8 Aug 2021
Beth Horner (b. 1995, Hitchin) recently graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Painting in 2020, having received a BA in Painting from Wimbledon College of Art in 2017. She is currently a Digswell Arts Fellow and works from her studio in Letchworth Garden City.
In her small-scale paintings, familiar suburban settings are transformed into sinister, uncanny dwellings blanketed in mystery and quiet possibility. Personal imagery is compiled, disassembled, and pieced back together in claustrophobic, eerie documentations of domestic life. Intricately rendered fragments lead into areas suggestive of decay and fragility. Plaster strips resemble scabs on the painting’s surface as if a result of intense scrutiny, warping and abstracting spaces once familiar.
A foreboding fog obscures the view in ‘Dispersed’ and ‘Waiting in the Car’, whilst in ‘Missing’ a solemn declaration of a lost cat is taped haphazardly to a post barring any identification, switching the iconography from a call to action to a public eulogy.
A similar melancholic quality is present in her sculptures which push further into surrealist territory. Rats burst out from cracks in concrete and phone lines dangle, disconnected and limp. These charred and crooked objects are signs pointing to a once maintained society left in disarray. Their forlornness serves to highlight the pockets of activity within the paintings seen through glowing windows and apertures that allude to hidden narratives. Peering outside from the inside and in from the out, viewers are poised to catch onto any abnormal happenings, which are sure to occur in this ghostly town.