• Cathy Lomax, The Blind Spot PV

  • Tue, 05-09-2017 at 18:00
  • Swindon Museum & Art Gallery
    Bath Road
    SN1 4BA Swindon
Cathy Lomax, The Blind Spot PV - Swindon Museum & Art Gallery - Swindon

Cathy Lomax won the Contemporary British Painting Prize in 2016 and her solo exhibition, The Blind Spot, which features new paintings that examine looking and being looked at, is part of her award. The Blind Spot refers to our inability to conceive of ourselves as we really are; ‘that mysterious ‘blind spot’ we call the self’, notes Paul O’Kane in an essay about Lomax’s work. This is no surprise when we consider that the women who stare back at us from screens and magazines set an impossible standard of perfection, their human-ness controlled and presented as a less troublesome fixed beauty. This is also true of the historic women who populate art and visual culture, who have been frozen in stone, bronze or paint or lingered over by photographers and cinematographers becoming luscious close ups that have a different softly unreal look to the rest of the film. Many of Lomax’s paintings are derived from film imagery, a medium that often utilises the nuanced language of mirrors. As the director Douglas Sirk said, ‘You can do remarkable things with mirrors; it is a medium of getting to know about oneself.’ A mirror on-screen can indicate that a character has a split personality or is two faced, it also allows us to look at the actor while they consider themselves – a moment of exquisite intimacy. When we look at ourselves in the shiny surface of a mirror we don’t see a true reflection, instead we are flattened and reversed. To quote Sirk again, ‘the mirror is the imitation of life. What is interesting about a mirror is that it does not show you yourself as you are, it shows you your own opposite.’ In The Blind Spot Lomax captures numerous women in paint, trapping them in their mirror image, setting them up in opposition and dialogue with both themselves and the voyeuristic position of the viewer. Rather than masquerade as uncanny airbrushed perfections these paintings do not hide their making; their brush marks and drips proclaim their construction as paintings.Alongside the reflection paintings and a series of 3D identity works, the show includes a painting of Swindon born Diana Dors atop a plinth and 19 Merry Maidens, a series that references a Cornish stone circle where women were petrified as punishment for dancing on the Sabbath. Cathy Lomax is a London based painter. Her work is a contemporary and personal exploration of popular culture, beauty, celebrity and identity. Lomax has an MA Fine Art from Central St Martins and is the director of Transition Gallery in East London. She also edits two art and culture magazines, Arty and Garageland and in 2016 she started a PhD at Queen Mary University of London, researching the role of makeup in the creation of the female star image. Lomax was an Abbey Painting Fellow at the British School at Rome in 2014 and she was shortlisted for the East London Painting Prize in 2014 and 2015. She exhibits nationally and internationally.PV Tuesday 5 September, 6-8pmWednesday, 6 September | 10.00 am - Saturday, 30 September | 5.00 pm | FreeSwindon Museum and Art GalleryBath RoadSwindonSN1 4BATel: 01793 466556Email: smag@swindon.gov.ukhttp://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/cathy-lomax-the-british-painting-prize/