The Good Luck Gallery is excited to present UK artist Cathy Ward’s second American solo show, “Phantasmata”, built around the enormous (84 X 284 ins) title piece -- a black and white “drawing in acrylic on canvas” that expands the charged atmospheric intimacy of her celebrated scratchboard drawings to a new epic scale.
Surging and pulsing with dark energies constrained and released, Ward’s dense Herworld drawings capture the restless energy of abstract expressionism through meticulously rendered organic forms. Their undeniable mystery, emotional depth, and sensuality are delivered in a dazzling visual package that recalls psychedelic graphics, hermetic alchemical illustrations, and outsider horror vacui.
In addition to this magnum opus, Ward’s exhibit includes a bronze sculpture incorporating pagan ritual symbolism; exquisite ink drawings on translucent amoeba-shaped mother-of-pearl (Diluvian Sculptures); and two distinct gesso-on-ink portrait series -- Sprites and Spirits -- depicting supernatural entities in a style ranges from action painting to precise draftsmanship, resembling vintage hi-contrast micrographs of cellular structures.
Visions of The Luna Sea comprises a series of hand-painted and photocollaged visionary landscapes -- originally glimpsed during the artist’s “Madge Gill Medium & Visionary Artist“ residency at Orleans House in 2013, but only just completed. Corn Maidens depict “Wicker Man”-like pagan fetishes in incised ink on gold, while the Gaia’s Crown series are some of the most accomplished examples of Ward’s virtuosic scratchboard drawing technique.
With inspiration ranging from coral reef restoration initiatives to the myth of Demeter (the ancient Greek goddess of harvest) and her connection to the pagan corn dolly, Ward’s work opens a portal to a parallel reality -- one in which our exhausted world is revived and restored to a state of awe-inspiring complexity, wholeness, and fecundity by an upsurge of dark feminine energy from the mythological underworld. Step on through!