Freya Nash (b.1995) is a London-based artist and graduate from Central Saint Martins. Her practice is rooted in a concern with the visceral, both literally and figuratively, and the inner self. Using predominantly oil painting to explore the abject internal body and raw, base emotion she brings to light what often remains inside. Standing as a hybrid between figuration and abstraction much of her work conveys the juxtaposition between the visceral reality and violence of the internal body whilst revealing the beauty and sensuality of it. Portraying the fluid and organic whilst rooted of ‘horror’ of the anatomical.
Thresholds, doorways, new beginnings. The seen and unseen. Embodiments of transformation. Unescapable change containing mess, grace and violence.
Tracing veins and colouring shadows, fixing the unreachable in place. Monotonous stabbing allows patterns to remain whilst shy statements hide behind feeble curtains. The ineffectual concealment of a purging through paint and the piecing together of severed parts. Simultaneously sacred and sordid, pure whilst rooted in darkness. Folds and creases reveal internal structures. Uncovering perverse nostalgia for untethered times. All is held together by staples and thread.
Moving beyond purely somatic representation of the visceral, these works act as windows conveying inner reaction and outer response.
Reflection and repetition result in a cleansing of the stains of time and personal experience. Experimentation with materiality and process used to explore the possibility of making these feelings tangible. Moving beyond figuration to some something deeper and more personal – to represent the body and self without its presence.
These performative paintings hold aesthetic juxtapositions between spontaneity and consideration. Primal gestures using fingers and hands are coupled with the control and precision of the brush and needle. The visceral substance of paint is held in union with the subversive nature of stitching as something delicate yet violent, whilst skins of varying opacities stretched across the anatomy of the canvas are both revealing and concealing. This dynamic balance of opposites is used to convey the tension created when marking boundaries of intimacy and revelation.
Process becomes form as gestures of smearing, dripping, stabbing, layering act as cathartic release of emotion on naked, raw canvas and translucent veils. Through this use of tactile materiality and marking making, a duality arises as the pieces also become non-figurative imitations of the body – sites of bruises, scars and healing stitches. This series of work acts as a manifestation of the human condition and an affected perception of the body as something transient, imperfect, a site of damage but also of growth and renewal.
Within us is a world of intricacy, a universe of visceral landscapes kept safe behind a protective layer of skin. Through my practice I attempt to capture exquisite abjection by depicting what should remain inside, what it both known and unknown, synchronously attracts and repels and is the axis between life and death.
My work invites you to climb inside and explore the abstract forms of the interior, subverting the borders between inside and out, creating a tension that is synonymous with the body. Standing as a hybrid between figuration and abstraction my work across varying mediums attempts to convey the juxtaposition between the visceral reality and violence of the internal body whilst revealing the beauty and sensuality of it. Portraying the fluid and organic whilst rooted of ‘horror’ of the anatomical.
The body enables life. It is the foundation of us as living creatures, connecting us to the organic world. The body is powerful despite its fragility and fallibility. Constantly evolving, growing, changing it is unfixed and it is sacred. Simultaneously base and divine, my practice is an ode to the material self, the internal body.
Drawing from Surrealism and Abstract art, I attempt to ‘suppress conscious control’ in many of the works. Beginning with a reference, macro photography I have taken of internal organs, but then letting the work flow unconsciously through me. This process of allowing the feel of the piece lead the way is significant as I feel it is representational of the fluidity of life and the body. Thus, through the varying mediums, I intend to depict more than a replica of the body, but rather strive to reveal the visceral intensity and sublimation of the corporeal. Consequently highlighting the sense of reverence I aim to convey.