August 30, 2010
Saturday 14 August to Sunday 5 September, Tuesday 7 September to Sunday 12 September.Rona succeeds in capturing in big bold clear images domestic bliss turning mildly sour. The cracks are never self evident yet the texture of the paintings is too even for the painted characters to be given a happy ending. This is suggested in the rigid stature of the lady in ‘Edie Ski’. Staring closely at the figures, the faces become achingly anonymous and it feels as if these people could be anyone’s family snapped having a picnic, as in the brilliant ‘Daisy’s Picnic’.
In the stark 'Mint Trees' the pain of the future seems to loom on the horizon, as there is notably no fine detail to anchor the families in any story line that takes them onward. The series of portraits 'Inhale' resonates the boom in contemporary plays that tell the stories of teenagers - a moment of inner personal crisis within the subjects is stemmed only by a reassuring puff on a cigarette.
Rona constructs characters that have a real story to tell, perhaps because the nature of her portraiture does not prevent the audience from connecting with a genuine person. The stories are endless in ‘The Bullingdon Painting’ which featuresTory politicians as young men. Hung near the entrance, it’s hard not to stare and feel the spotlight of self belief and radiant promise from an elite generation. The print is temptingly available to purchase on a Tea Towel.
Mostly large works in monochrome are hung at O3 in this exhibition but pink and blue washes have been added to a few of the works to give a feel of Summer. But this hope expressed by the girl in the party dress in ‘Pink Lady’ seems too fragile to offer any real substance. It is hard not to wish the characters of Rona’s world well but having returned to view her work from previous shows it is the fact that I am waiting for it all to fall apart that draws me back.