in hannah bays’ paintings, figures are reduced to an abbreviation of bold lines, voluminous shapes, flattened colour and gestural flourishes, in an exploration of abstract figuration.
the painter seeks a harmonious interplay between the heavily carved and the carefree, the rough, the smooth, the sensual and the violent.
for her, the depiction of everyday scenarios such as a figure in the bath or quivering under bedclothes enables the mundane and the numinous to coincide. the human figures appear alone, alluding to and allowing for contemplation of the inner life of the individual.
ideas are evoked through symbolic language, often in a playful manner. in ‘butcher’s hook’ the butcher tends to his meat, mapped out below him like the organs of his own body, the carcasses dance and jeer behind his back. garish colour and a light tone heighten the sense of theatre, with flesh and meat reduced to comic figurines - no more, no less, than the butcher himself.
allusions to desire, death and the body are never far away.