Doskos TriptychRocks etc...

Pauline Keaney
Cornerstone Gallery, Hope at Everton
19th January –16th February 2007 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)

Reviewed by Helen Grey

The natural environment has long been an inspiration to artists. The vividness of colour and magnitude of form which can be found in the mountains, sea and forests, have often compelled artists to create works of equal greatness. Unfortunately, the works created by Pauline Keaney left me feeling flat and wanting.

Keaney moved to the Greek island of Hydra ten years ago, and has turned to her surroundings for inspiration. However the deep blues of the Aegean and the golden hues of the sand are ‘touchstones’ only. The blurb at the Cornerstone says: ‘Her paintings are responses to these subjects rather than representations of them.’ This much is true. Most of her paintings are so far removed from the brilliance of form of the natural environment, that they appear bland and flat.

‘Coming to Hydra’ and ‘Approaching Storm’ are two such examples. Keaney’s work is said to ‘tend towards abstraction, with only a few lines acting as references to the subject matter which first inspired her’, whereas in reality her tendency towards abstraction can at times lesson the impact of the image she is trying to portray. I can understand the artist who wants to back away from simply painting what she sees in front of her and move on with new and inspiring work. But in this case, Keaney is shown to be at her strongest when she paints with more definition. ‘Doskos Triptych’ (above) shows rocks – dotted with greenery – dropping away into an aqua sea. The extra definition she gives to this piece and the trueness of the colours used, makes this one of the more successful paintings in the collection.

Printer friendly page

Comments are closed for this review