Image: Hannah Maybank, "Bridled Briar", 2012 - Courtesy the artist/Gimpel Fils
Image: Hannah Maybank, "Mine Own", 2010 - Courtesy the artist/Gimpel Fils
Image: Hannah Maybank, "I Begin a Ghost", 2011 - Courtesy the artist/Gimpel Fils
Hannah Maybank has shown regularly at Gimpel Fils since 2002 and this exhibition is the recapitulation of a decade's work. She uses the flora that surrounds us to portray an expression of time and mortality through a painted process. Her manner of depicting this shows much variety.
From her earliest days, Maybank has used acrylic paint with latex in carefully layered single colours, to build up a relief on the canvas surface. The result, like a carved frieze, is a surface, which allows for delicate shadows to enhance the image. The relief areas are either left intact or peeled away to reveal an underlying colour which otherwise remains hidden. The contrast between the relatively tough nature of latex and an implied fragility, unmasked in a tear, sums up the captivating manner in which the artist uses this most unusual of paint surfaces.
When Hannah Maybank turned to paper and ink, she recreated her carefully detailed studies of trees as jet-black silhouettes. Maybank used a slightly unorthodox shellac ink, to obtain the deepest black image, set against a pure white background. More recently she has begun to tackle watercolour and graphite to paint delicate flower images, leaving some areas densely painted and others finely outlined. In these, as in all her earlier work, Maybank sets up a contrast between full and empty spaces, balancing quiet with noise, solidity with confusion. There is beauty in fragility, in impermanence.
Hannah Maybank has been commissioned to produce new work for this year's Wirksworth Festival: 6- 22 September, along with Rachael Champion, Emily Speed and Johannes Vogl. She will also be exhibiting in the group show 'Under The Greenwood-Picturing The British Tree' at The St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington: 12th October-23rd November.
For more information visit Gimpel Fils website.