The latest exhibition at Leamington’s Deasil Gallery features works by a number of the gallery’s artist clients.
At the opening night, one artist with a tale to tell was present. Chelsea ‘Bunns’ Johnson is 24, originally from South Africa and a survivor of seven years of drug abuse. She now lives in Warwickshire though is soon to move to Coventry.
Her paintings are abstracts filled with bold colours and shapes, and often incorporating other items such as muslin and sand; she cited amongst her influences Antoni Tàpies and that interest can be seen in her work.
She said: “It’s very therapeutic for me, it’s an escape and it’s always been one constant thing in my life. It’s good to be using it to try to make a living and it’s keeping me away from the bad things – I have a very addictive personality.”
One work is entitled Hide This Somewhere Safe, and Chelsea said: “It’s when you are in that world, people grab on to you and drag you down and it’s about grab your heart and keep it safe so they don’t get hold of it.”
Watering My Roots “is about taking care of yourself and nurturing yourself”. Get Ready to Hold Your Breath is right.
Chelsea’s paintings also incorporate a small stamp in the corner, made with a kit from Hong Kong her father, who still lives in South Africa, gave to her, and it reminds her of him.
There are also very different works by other artists on show. Phil Davis’s works are detailed and bright, overlaying people and London skylines. Tessa Pearson’s show different flowers in close up, and Jane Powell’s paintings include Strawberry Trellis, a packed study of vegetation through a trellis.
Iso Bella is showing several pleasant landscape studies, and Lousie Morgan’s watercolours are tiny. Sonia Bublaitis’s Tree of Life is gold leaf on a black Perspex background.
The show is on until November 12.
Works by Jane Powell, Phil Davis and Tessa Pearson