One of WIA’s favourite stands at London Art Fair is New Art Projects. In the – to our mind – most exciting part of the Fair: Art Projects, Fred Mann’s curated selection features work by five women artists.
Lindo Khandela’s bright canvases pop: hot pinks, neon greens, vibrant stripes, embellished with glitter, beads, gold leaf and plastic gem stones. She creates a party on the wall, and celebrates womanhood loudly. Khandela’s confident, jubilant canvases are unapologetic and playful. Bold themes of joyful sexuality and uninhibited exploration run through this artist’s work.
Kate Halsall‘s portraits often captures her subjects asleep. Caught unaware, the subject can be scrutinised.
In Untitled 3 a young woman reclines but she is not a typical Venus. Unlike many of Halsall’s subjects in this series, she holds the viewer’s gaze. Dressed in her grandmother’s African robe and lying on a sofa in an English living room, the work is a discussion of roots, history, cultural background and the connection with contemporary London life.
Frances Wilks‘ Helmet also features a powerful female gaze. Wilks stares directly at the viewer in this self-portrait, part of a series of acrylic paintings in which Wilks confronts the male dominated world of Formula 1. There are no women Formula 1 drivers, and here Wilks paints herself into the picture inverting gender notions to explore new possibilities for the traditional representation of masculinity. These paintings are reminiscent of early Marlboro, Ferrari and Champion advertising and the language of men’s magazines with their vibrant colours and graphic compositions.
Paige Perkins‘ dreamlike scenes of sentient woodland animals and hidden human faces glow with an evanescent light. Her characters inhabit a world where the threshold between reality and fantasy merge. These psychedelic scenarios emerge from time misspent in her grandmothers garden and the fantastical creatures encountered there.
If Perkins’ work is a dream gone mad, Aly Helyer‘s oil paintings are nightmares gone right. Her characters share human appearances, but Helyer adds green skin or an extra eye or a wandering hand to distort her reality. Helyer creates a sense of science fiction and then tells a story of humanity. Her pieces are titled How to Fight Loneliness and New Age Lovers; these are not stories of some far-off land, but the connections people learn to make.