DegreeArt’s gallery space on Vyner Street has been transformed into a veritable illuminated bestiary, filled with vivid, evocative images of luminous animals. Zebras and stags prance and cavort majestically across large canvases, while small miniature pendants, icons and even train tickets feature delicately painted drawings of birds and insects such as bees and beetles. There are even light bulbs wittily suspended from the ceiling, each containing the form of a moth.
These creatures are painted and drawn by Louise McNaught as a response to the divinity inherent in nature, whether derived from the symbolisms of folklore, mythology or religion. Certainly, the sublime is present in her neon-hued creatures, which appear to radiate light as their colours bleed and drip upwards into the canvases. Owls and crows peer out from astronomical charts and maps, while peacocks display and fight upon a backdrop of what appears to be a Victorian wallpaper pattern. Fluorescent songbirds wheel across gold leaf backgrounds, echoing saintly icons.
This work clearly highlights the beauty, strength and power found in the spirited creatures of nature. Louise McNaught will also be present in residence in the DegreeArt space, and will give an artist’s talk about her work on Thursday 25 July.
Supernatural continues at DegreeArt, 2a Vyner Street, Bethnal Green, E2 9DG until 28 July. Artists’ Talk on 25 July (6-8:30 pm), RSVP to DegreeArt (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit the Degree Art website to find out more.
By Sarah Stewart