Henny Acloque at Ceri Hand Gallery

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An excellent solo show of works by Henny Acloque at Ceri Hand gallery, I particularly like the smaller ones like those shown here. The larger works are quite drippy and you’ll know by now I’m not so keen on the drippy paintings. Very popular too with quite a few sold already at the busy opening last Thursday.

London based Acloque’s new series of narrative paintings reference old masters such as Bosch, Bruegel and Durer and explore the fragility of life and the self.

Acloque’s part time job as a restorer is reflected in both her technique and restrained colour palette – burnt umbers, ghostly golds and shell greys provide a sinister backdrop for dripping blood reds and dense coal blacks. Layers of paint and reflective varnish create timeless, evanescent landscapes that encapsulate curious creatures and symbolic, recurring motifs drawn from memories and myths, such as trees, animals, plants, eggs and arches.

Seemingly caught between worlds, monkeys wait by open or shut doors that hover in space, Truman Show like, offering an entry point both into the painting and to another plane. Steps leading to it are too high or far away to climb, the monkey is tempted or tormented by a bell pull to announce his arrival (or departure). What the door leads to we are never privy to, but the melancholic tone of the painting indicates the grass may not be greener on the other side.