A deep form of lightness (Article by the Art Couch)

In the news - 
18 Mar 2023

Posted By Frederic De Meyer

After a long winter it is a relief to breathe in some color and cheerfulness, Annelies and Matthew of Frock Gallery must have thought. With their selection in the exhibition "Colorful Characters," this is exactly what they offer visitors, although the art of these three is not as noncommittal as it appears at first glance....
By capturing fleeting moments, Christel Weyts offers an open invitation to observe our surroundings more closely and intensely. "My eye continuously scans the environment in search of scenes played by ordinary, fascinating people," she writes. Casual, strolling or hurried passersby, bits of nature, architecture or close-ups of unsightly social events, nothing seems to escape her observation, and her often roguish curiosity. What she demonstrates all along is that by looking more intently, there is more to see than what our attention is drawn to -it's something that art has as an effect anyway, but through the choices of her subject matter, she mines within our ordinary perception this newly discoverable richness.
"Her characters are filled with life, whimsy and theatrical energy," say Annelies and Matthew of Frock Gallery, "They invite the viewer to come and laugh." It may be said that Jeniffer Davis' paintings have something light-hearted and playful about them, though this never seems to me to be a non-committal thing. She seems to have developed a new language with her unbridled imagination, but what she expresses with it is therefore not stripped of weight and meaning. Many of her little works are actually self-portraits, which in itself, through the process of fundamental distortion to which she exposes her theme, calls for deeper observation. C. Randall, director of the Swansong Gallery, nicely analyzes this process: "She appears in each composition-like an avatar of many guises-her primary incarnation as a wide-eyed girl who is mild yet ever-vigilant. She is patient with aliens, a friend to plants and animals; always serving as a protector for the meek and those who can not run. She is, indeed, the mistress of her domain." A master in her self-conceived world, it sounds a bit naive and childish, but as Picasso once put it: the first half of our life we learn to be adults, the second half of it we learn to be children again.
I have little with ceramics, I must confess to my shame. Unknown is unloved. I am not insensitive to it, but I can never quite pinpoint where this sensitivity comes from - not that I necessarily have to, but my curiosity is primarily an intellectual process. Strangely enough, what does immediately appeal to me is ceramics that refer to ancestral tradition. It may be due to an instinctive recognition of primitive forms, mining the wealth of our collective unconscious. Hélène Morbu's works draw from this source but are overlaid with a layer of sophistication that attests to a penchant for the Art Deco style, creating a curious combination. Judging by the number of French magazines already featuring her work, she is something of a rising star. As far as I am concerned, she forms an additional stimulus to delve further -or rather: finally- into this art form...