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Brighton Journal | 19th February 2020

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Life drawing longer than a London bus comes to Brighton

Life drawing longer than a London bus comes to Brighton
Elizabeth Richardson

Brighton-based artist Michaela Ridgway is launching an exhibition in the heart of Brighton’s “Artist’s Quarter” tomorrow. Held at Gallery40 in the North Laines, Michaela will be showcasing her experimental life drawing that is longer than a London bus.

The drawing is entitled “Now”, and measures a staggering 1m x 10m. The drawing explores the experience of scale, pace, vitality and time. Michaela has reflected on the artistic experience of creating the piece:

Doing this drawing, I had to move forward and backward through space and, in some unfathomable way, through time. It’s like time travel.

The exhibition will also feature a selection of Michaela’s new paintings on canvas, cartridge paper, MDF board, and brown paper bags. The artist’s approach always hovers somewhere between the abstract and the real, with colour being a particular preoccupation in her work. Michaela’s work is often bold and unburdened by fancy footwork.

Facebook © Michaela Ridgway

The display will include images of the Venezuelan “Devil dancers” of Chuao, as well as a prickly pear cactus under a setting sun. Michaela often turns to Venezuela for inspiration, as it was here that the artist worked as a journalist during the 90s. The country’s tropical colours bring a vibrancy and magic to her paintings. Half imagined landscapes, the artist’s kitchen sink and a blue headless nude are also set to be exhibited.

The Financial Times Art Critic, Rachel Spence, has said:

Michaela Ridgway’s images balance bold, spare human drama with a frail, unfinished state of becoming. Her devotion to practice and process gives her work a mystique, an internal contradiction, that makes it compelling and timeless.

Annie Freud, the renowned English painter and poet, has also highly praised Ridgway’s work:

Every time I see a new painting my Michaela Ridgway I feel a surge of joy.What most astounds me is the extraordinary confidence in the way they are painted. They are so brave, exploratory, intimate.

A private view of the exhibition will be held tomorrow evening from 6pm until 9pm. Visitors are able to select sections of the 1m x 10m life drawing to purchase. The exhibition will be held in Gallery 40 until Sunday 31st August.

Michaela Ridgway @ Gallery40, 20th – 31st August. 10am – 6pm daily. 40 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ

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