PJ Crook is a story teller. A weaver of narratives, she leads her audience into a realm of fantastical tales through one technicoloured canvas after another. As such a solo show of this scale and variety is something of an anthol ogy of the artist’s inventive skill. Each work stands alone as an unresolved fiction, a beginning of a tale that the artist leaves unfinished, inviting the viewer to collaborate in imagining how each narrative unfolds.
As each scenario unfolds we are introduced to a myriad of characters and settings, from the deeply exotic to the disturbingly familiar. Like any successful author PJ has the ability to keep us gripped, the drama in her paintings holds our interest like few other artists working today. Key to this successful audience engagement is her inventive range. In a solo exhibition we are able to fully appreciate the great diversity of her ideas that compete to escape onto the canvas.
Not unlike her literary counterparts, PJ conjures the sounds and smells of a place through the painted imagery of her unique visual language. In one painting we are transported to a South American market place, amidst the noise and heat we can imagine the taste of the offered ripe watermelon. A few steps further on to another painting and the mood changes; a cool, urban evening on a different continent, a familiar climate and the viewpoint is not interactive but uneasily voyeuristic. Standing, silently watching the revelations of domestic rear windows, the only company are passing creatures of the night.
This richness of narrative and sensual experience is at the heart of PJ’s success as a painter. Nevertheless her work is never allowed to lapse into the purely decorative. Her works are undeniably very beautiful but never fail to explore elements of the human condition. From the political to the spiritual, quiet points are made alongside the disarming technical mastery of the paintings themselves. Her biblical works hang comfortably next to the faeries of A Midsummer Night’s Dreamand in a new major work the seething mass of humanity, a melting pot of all nations surging along in a river of musical accord and political solidarity, proclaim that watchword of our time ‘Je Suis Charlie!’.
1 October - 16 October 2015
Panter & Hall
11-12 Pall Mall
Monday to Friday
10.00 AM - 6.00 PM
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
CLOSED BANK HOLIDAYS