Aevum, a solo exhibition of paintings by Louise West
The exhibition, titled ‘Aevum’ presents a significant body of work in which West combines a contemporary perspective on the still life tradition, with her sublime use of paint to imbue forlorn and forgotten objects with a force of love, humour and hope.
West reaches to the familiar objects that have been handed down through generations to gather and reimagine as domestic assemblages. West acts as a custodian to the simple household objects that have journeyed as mascots with the women who treasured them before her, simple objects that she repurposed in the present to emulate the events they witnessed in the past. Her work depicts simple, often broken, worthless souvenirs that connect the artist to their aura of hope, aspiration and pride that they held in the feminine dwellings that they called home.
The artist seeks solace in the interactions, memories, relics and imaginings of the past by painting table-top arrangements with postcard backgrounds to evoke the solidarity of the women from her past to envoy strength to the present. The majority of West’s works in this exhibition were painted in response to life lived during the Pandemic and remind us that during a time of restricted movement there was consolation to gain from what we already possess, and that memory and imagination are essential to our being in times of struggle.
“In the stratum of stratum the archaeology of Western sites unearths endless variations on the same basic ideas, a storage jar, beaker, vase. Such objects belong to the aevum, time which has a beginning but no end.
They transmit their store of energy along a path that connects past to future need.
Those addressed by these ancient and familiar forms are only the present members of a cultural family whose roots travel back into the vast preceding cultural community, which is in solidarity with each of the generations behind and ahead.”
Still life and the ‘Feminine’ Space an essay from the collection, Looking at the overlooked by Norman Bryson.
Louise West is a Dublin based artist who graduated with a BA in Painting in 1996 from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Having previously studied animation and completed courses in the Turps Banana mentorship programme, West has exhibited in both Ireland and the UK in site specific and group shows. Significant shows include Crawford Art Gallery curated by Iwona Blazwick; Sited curated by Mark Garry; The Royal Acdemy Belfast, Draíocht Art Gallery curated by Caroline Mc Carthy; Kilkenny Castle Gallery; The Mermaid Arts Centre; Artform Dunmore East and Fitzrovia Gallery London. She was selected as the 14th or reserve artist on the 2014 Sky Arts Portrait Competition and has been shortlisted for the “Artform Artist of Merit award” in 2021. Commisions include, “Playthings” at Draíocht Gallery” and reviews in The Irish Times and The Cork Examiner, she was selected for interview as a part of “Lesson from Still Life” open submission for the New York based “Artrepeneur” Art Journal “Sketch” in 2023.