John Beardman presents large abstracted representations on canvas of the human head in the exhibition Beyond Reason. Beardman’s work is a personal expression of remembered visual phenomena, and thorough a transformative series of events in recent months his work has moved from classical abstraction to personified abstraction in the form of heads. The paintings enter into the “uncanny valley”, creating a scene of familiarity and revulsion simultaneously, for it is both recognizable and alien. Beardman states, “These heads are viewed through different optical planes with various emotions calling out to the viewer ... I want you to be open to experiencing it, to be open to seeing a different dimension of yourself.”
In the exhibition Beyond Reason Hilda O’Connell illuminates her research and interests in language and alphabets with large mixed media works on canvas. Her process is to create an improvisational dialogue within the medium, using the palimpsest technique, a form of overwriting she employs in which traces of marks are superimposed over a cluster of random letters, creating a field of linguistic fragments and calligraphic notations which represent a wordless language. O’Connells’ paintings engage the viewer in the same way an archeological dig makes one wonder about the meaning of the objects and the language and its deeper essence. O’Connell often quotes W. B. Yeats, ‘Shake off the vocabulary of literal meaning to dig into the spiritual’.