Gaby Guz's work relies on colours, shapes and textures extracted from the natural world; the lines of the female body on her nudes are mirrored in the soft, sloping curves of the pots. Her ceramics take on the colder colours of shells, eggs and stones, where her drawings rely on earthier, warmer tones. Either half of the collection would feel lost without the other, and exhibiting the two in tandem presents us with a full spectrum of colour and texture.
One focus of Guz's work is the interplay between elements where the artist's control is central, and moments where complete and meaningful control from the artist is impossible. Her life drawing process starts with the free application of ink or pastel to create a base; while purposeful, this act is gestural and any imperfections or unexpected movements of the medium are accepted and incorporated into the final piece. In contrast, the etching in of the figure is a far more steadfast and single minded operation - chance gives way to certainty. Her ceramics process starts with hours of technically challenging and time-consuming work, before she gives her pots over to the kiln where their fate is decided. It's this hint of chaos that makes Guz's work interesting; both the urgency of the life drawing (Guz favours short-pose work) and the fragile nature (being aware of the violence of their creation) of the ceramics, are stimulating to view.
Farrands's series focuses on the winter solstice in
It was a shame that Guz's and Farrands's work was kept entirely separate - colour in one exhibition space and monochrome in the other. Having the warmth and more tangible gestures to nature of Guz's ceramics among the coldness of Farrands's winter prints may have helped to bring out the hints of coming spring in his work. Even though the gallery is quite small and was full for the launch event, there were definitely moments of calm and contemplation to be found at The Barn.