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Wildness at Play

Hannah Light’s paintings are bold in subject and style and do not shy away from the issues that have preoccupied the painter for the last forty years.
They are often filled with animals, sometimes with human features. This is a world where a man in evening dress embraces a goldfish, where an immense crow-woman totters, hunched over, staring at the ground. Hannah Light’s protagonists are forceful and ask uncomfortable questions. These are creatures that will not be ignored.
‘Cave Beasts’ has three such creatures. The central figure is blind in one eye and dominates the stage, the two figures either side are soft and passive and are in turn surrounded by lesser actors who face inwards focused on the central creature. There is a strong feeling of evolution here as the tiniest of sperm-like creatures seem to evolve into colourful fish, birds and sea horses. There is more the feeling of water, or the Earth as a background than the darkness of a cave. The central creature is also evolving and shedding a skin. With one clear eye, she looks both to the future and the past and both questions and condemns, in the other she is sightless and it is that sightless eye that draws us inexorably in.
Is this a beginning or an end? We cannot know but the strong sense of accusation in this painting forces us to pause and take a little time to question what we are doing with our world.

Maxine flaneuse de Cornouaille

Hannah Light – Redwing Gallery, Penzance 4th May, 2019.

Volume 33 no 6 July/August 2019 p 35

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