LONDON, UK — Varvara Roza Galleries and K. Nichols Contemporary are pleased to co-present “Release” by Amanda Watt at Gallery Eight, London. Amanda Watt’s first large-scale solo show in the UK since the 1980s combines her interiors, landscapes, and depictions of the female form to create a show that is bold, bright, and brave. All painted since returning to her native Northern Ireland after almost thirty years in the USA, the pieces have taken on a new sensitivity and emotional expression.
The exhibition will run from September 23 to October 08, at Gallery Eight in St. James’s, Mayfair, London.
This latest body of work is an artistic release – an outpouring of energy and emotion that creates an explosion of color and form. Amanda investigates her own personality, experiments with paint and canvas, and trusts her intuition, letting her memory and imagination lead the way.
Inspired by her life in California and Florida, and her subsequent return to Ireland, “Release” is an epiphany for Amanda, a true outflowing of creativity.
The art of Amanda Watt is a fusion of East and West – a melting pot of various movements. A thirst for knowledge and a peripatetic mind means that she draws inspiration from sources as varied as Japanese Shunga and woodblock prints, cubism, expressionism, orientalism, and fauvism. This unexpected juxtaposition of different styles results in a style unique to Watt: Fusionism. For her still life images and interior scenes, Watt delves into her memory and imagination to retrieve the images for her paintings. She combines pattern-making with a playful attitude towards perspective, to draw the viewer into her canvases and infuse inanimate objects with life.
“Release” will feature paintings “Hollywood Hills,” “Hockney’s View,” and “The Chair,” which evoke the 1980s Los Angeles-era paintings of David Hockney, playing with perspective and flooded with color. Her paintings are also reminiscent of the luminous, colorful Impressionist still life images and depictions of the Cote d’Azur by Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy.
With this new solo exhibition, Amanda Watt’s paintings will offer a welcome escape from the trials and tribulations of contemporary life, from the fear of climate change and war, and the final release from the barriers erected by Covid-19, into a world imbued with vibrant color, light, and an alternative, escapist artist’s perspective.
Amanda Watt explained the inspiration behind her work: “Release is the culmination of many years’ work since returning to Northern Ireland. The process has been a huge creative release. I have been emotionally honest, and unabashedly put it all out on the canvas to be viewed. Every technical and intuitive weapon in my armory has been employed to imbue this body of work with absolute and complete authenticity. The backstories and memories attached to some of the paintings may not always be the most wholesome, but now seeing it in its entirety I believe the result is bright, bold, positive, and uplifting.”
Varvara Roza, Founder and CEO of Varvararoza Galleries, said about Katharine Nichols and Amanda Watt: “I came across Amanda’s work 4 years ago when I met and started to work with Katharine Nichols! From the very first moment that I familiarized myself with her artworks and artistic oeuvre, I was absolutely impressed. Amanda’s work is a synthesis of honest emotions, love, expressionism of her inner soul, and manifestation of her own vulnerability. For Amanda, art is more than a mere production of interesting images. It is way beyond that. It’s a way of life, a way of expressing, and finally the way she is visualizing the world through her own eyes and depicts it on her canvases. I am really looking forward to working with Katharine on this exciting project and amazing solo exhibition by Amanda Watt! It’s a real honor being part of her first solo exhibition in London, a city which is one of the most important centers of the contemporary art world, and a global hub of fine art, that will embrace and bring out the best of Amanda’s artwork.”
Katharine Nichols, Director of K. Nichols Contemporary, commented: “I have been working with Amanda for almost five years now and am thrilled to be teaming up with Varvara Roza Galleries to be giving her the solo show she undoubtedly deserves. We have showcased her work in galleries and societies across the UK, but she is a highly collectible artist, and the heart of Mayfair is where her work truly belongs. ‘Release’ has been a long time coming, being delayed several times by the COVID-19 pandemic. To a certain extent, the show’s title references the release from the mental and physical confines brought about by the pandemic. The true core of the exhibition, however, is a reflection of Amanda’s abounding artistic energy and her greatest yet creative release.”