Girl in Sky
2009 by Charlotte Kessler
Art in Mind, Brick Lane Gallery; http://lemonstone.co.uk
British born Kessler’s paintings are fantastical, dark, and slightly whimsical, and it is no wonder, so much other than simple visuality inspires these paintings. Kessler was a dancer, and the body, movement and its relationship with the human psyche, memory in particular, fuels her paintings. Dreams and the subconscious constantly invade her compositions and are deliberately explored through the visuality of her work. Experimental almost, the outcome of her art is not premeditated but evolves as a process; Kessler talks of the moment when the power of a painting switches as roles are reversed. No longer is she, the artist, in control as the energy of the painting shifts, becoming a projection from within itself. Its effect on the viewer is created by intensity of atmosphere and visual absorption, affections that are not necessarily predictable or controllable. Girl in Sky is immediately arresting as the world is spread before our eyes, land glowing green, and a sky vast in size as well as imagination. Stars are scattered in light and colour; dancing before us, they migrate across the darkness in zigzags of movement, thin and bright as electricity. Luminous blues and greens seep from the skies, enchanting the night as well as diluting it, creating fantastical depths of the beyond. The girl, her head pale and circular as the moon, blows spirals delicate and translucent that melt among the constellation-like shapes that fill the skies — brilliant milky-ways, the glowing forms of animals, and a marvellously multi-coloured bird that hovers by the side of her head. The painting is a dark and mystical materialisation, hinting of stories and tales untold, as light and stars play out of the dark.