Swindon Museum and Art Gallery open their doors next week to their latest exhibition, The Blind Spot, by Cathy Lomax.
Her work is a contemporary and personal exploration of popular culture, beauty, celebrity and identity. Her projects have included an ongoing Film Diary, ‘Mock Tudor’ inspired by the art of Hans Holbein, and American Tan, which explores Hollywood glamour.
In 2016, Lomax won the inaugural Contemporary British Painting Prize. The competition was organised by Contemporary British Painting in order to celebrate and share the many important and exciting contemporary painters working in Britain today.
Her exhibition in Swindon, 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.
Many of Lomax’s paintings are derived from film imagery, a medium that often utilises the nuanced language of mirrors. 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.
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 works 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 turned into stone as punishment for dancing on the Sabbath.
The exhibition is free to look around and opens Wednesday 6 September till Saturday 30 September.