Studio Fridays artist Joanna Gilbert returns to Avivson Gallery in Highgate for her third solo show; ‘Relief’. Her new large acrylic abstracts on canvas, whilst still recognisable, now feel more minimal and pared back. The gestural motifs of last year are disappearing, leaving surfaces initially to be viewed more holistically, but with closer inspection we discover a textured surface, in ‘Relief’, like mountainscapes from above. We see that paint has been forced in to the valleys, as well as scumbled over the peeks. Colour has been applied, removed and reapplied, resulting in layers of history, appearing and disappearing.
The catalogue of paintings that support ‘Relief’ includes Gilbert’s own words, written on each page as titles and short poems. They reference the turbulent seas, storms and waves, but also rebirth, hope and alignment. Gilbert’s work is, as ever, an honest record of her own questions about life, and how best to live it with all that it throws back at us.