In this painterly portrait by British artist Khalid Khan, a man’s face is portrayed in rich earthy colors, painted in sharp jabs and curves. Only portions of the face are fully captured, the rest is left for the mind to fill in. This portrait is part of a series, similarly executed; some of random individuals, but many are of people the artist knows.
In Sink Full of Dishes, artist Emma Copley paints in bright, cheerful colors, a garden, and behind it, a pleasant landscape of golden hills and tall grasses, as seen through a kitchen sink’s window. The view is from the artist’s summer home, and is the view the artist would have seen when standing washing up after a meal. The sink area, painted in blues and blacks, is full of dirty dishes, haphazardly stacked and waiting to be washed. The dirty kitchen taunts us with its routine drudgery, while we long for the freedom and pleasure of the bright garden.
It is tempting to read the presence of the dirty dishes as a conscious act of defiance by the artist against the cultural imposition of norms of feminine tidiness, but the tyranny of domestic chores over those who work from home: not only is the artist’s kitchen being presented to us in a state of disorderliness, but the artist has prioritized the painting of this picture over washing up.
In SAT NAV, the artist again shows us a part of the world as seen through a window, this time through the windshield of a vehicle. In the foreground is the dashboard of a motor vehicle, the steering wheel on the right-hand side in the British fashion. Through the window we see what might be an old windmill. The view through the window is awkwardly constrained by the vehicle. One wants to sit up and look over the dash, but one cannot.
In Beach Day by British artist Emma Copley, a multitude of people occupy a distant sandy ocean-side beach. A bluff is seen in the distance, upon which are several cheerful white houses with blue windows. In the foreground is a small rambling fence. The sea is painted in a myriad of blues, pinks and yellows, while the beach sand is predominately yellow and orange. The scene is lively and fun, but distant. This distance, coupled with the thickly applied paint and vibrant color, encourages us to focus on larger patterns of how people group together and use space, rather than their individual activities. A socially oriented landscape.