U N S P OK E N
A solo show by Bobbie Russon
2 5 J U NE - 2 1 J U L Y 2 0 1 2
In her first solo show of the year Bobbie Russon embraces that which is left unsaid with a new body of
work dwelling on companionship, attachment and its associated trappings. With a wry nod to the close
bond which can be forged between children and animals when a longing for company unites and a
combined silence echoes loneliness, the viewer is invited to return to a moment in time where one
might know all there was to know and never utter a word about it. Together, alone.
'Four legs good. Two legs bad.' one of Orwell's seven commandments in 'Animal Farm' could be her
motto. "The silent presence of the animal makes the loneliness of the person more acute." "My paint-
ings are acombination of how I felt as a child, together with feelings for others, be they in stories from
the 1800's or the girl down the road today who cannot mix with others due to her parents religious
beliefs..." In 'Having a Jane Eyre Day' Russon's changeling joined the mythology of childhood.
Imagination can be as powerful a truth as truth itself and when adults are imaginatively playful perhaps
it is because they were serious children? Her drawings and hand written notes ('Veneer of lies, behind
the veneer a glimpse of truth') pinned to the studio walls, are triggers for paintings. "I use tea as I like
the discolouration it lends and also the way the line bleeds and becomes more fluid. I like to see some-
thing of the artist in work, a human element rather than perfection."
Russon studied foundation at Bournville School of Art spending a summer at Highfield House, the
centre of Birmingham's 'alternative Bloomsbury', making the murals painted by Joan Souter Robert-
son the subject for her thesis and when she came to London for a B.A. at St Martins and an M.A. at
The Royal College of Art, Russon would model for her Tuesday draw and sit, followed by taramasalata
on toast. After leaving college Russon was accepted into a number of competitions and exhibition and
had her first solo show in 1994 at Merz Contemporary Art. She showed at the young contemporaries
at Frost and Reed, St James's, and had a residency at the Florence Trust studios in Highbury.
It takes courage to be uncompromisingly revelatory and Russon's paintings bring us as near to being
inside an artist's head as can be. The consequence is Bobbie Russon is a painter of unusual beauties
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