If paintings were people what would you look like? Perhaps a hazy sunrise by Monet or a deep sombre, melancholic Rothko. Well the exhibition by Liverpool-based artist Cherie Grist delights through her eclectic abstract display of energetic and colourful self-portraits.
A self-portrait doesn’t necessarily need to be a representation of your face but the inner makings of a person. Cherie’s artwork vibrantly communicates her passion for fashion and design. They are illustrative, yet complex. If you imagine your internal chatter set to maximum volume and once set on canvas you could stare at it for days.
Not only do they channel Abstract Expressionism, they’re also reminiscent of the process of automatic painting – creating art without conscious thought. Such spontaneous mark-making taps into the unconsciousness avoiding any rational thought and stimulating unspoken thoughts, feelings and desires. I can see how Cherie is charting her own personal journey between the left and right sides of the brain. Channeling the geometric, straight lines of the right side alongside the fluidity, drips and pouring of the left side. The colours are both expressive and calming, filling any void between the two opposites.
Another dimension to her pieces are the number of layers on the canvas. Layer upon layer of colour, different textures, medium, shape and pattern. So much so that they seem to represent codes or brainwaves. A constance of milling and lurching signifying a processing of thoughts at a million miles an hour in multiple directions. It’s interesting that Cherie sees her paintings as records of her existence. “They illustrate my day to day, my ups and downs, my madness and my calm.”
The exhibition isn’t complete without the physical complement of her notes, ideas, inspiration and tools. Paint splattered brushes and bowls sit next to handwritten quotes, sketchbooks, raw drawings and printed imagery. Here lies the moodbook of her soul.
On until 20th May 2017
Cherie Grist: People
Civic Way, Huyton, Knowsley,