Xenia Lucie Laffely, Beth Frey, Grace Kalyta, and Paula Maclean.
Something constantly comes up when experiencing Xenia, Beth, Gracie and Paula's uncompromising art: the question of how it's made. This is somehow linked with how they all appropriate different techniques and transform their medium, to express shared interests, like intimacy, crafts, materiality, narrativity, and strangeness.
Xenia Lucie Laffely uses satin and velvet, materials typically associated with the luxuries of comfort, which she embroiders and quilts to integrate printed familiar and sentimental, albeit disturbing auto fictional imagery. By summoning retreat, stillness, transgression, impurity, lesbianism and aging, she challenges sexist gender stereotypes, levelling criticism at the cozy nest of domesticity, where the productivism ethos perpetuates itself.
Beth Frey derives her creative motivations from an unusual fascination for the destruction of appearances, often her own. Her watercolours demonstrate a rare ability to reconstitute disintegrating identities through complex elastic compositions. Her irresistible humour is equally effective when she transposes her watercolour into a video performance, where her self-deprecating stance undermines the self-imagery social media has accustomed us to.
Grace Kalyta's work celebrates the world of midwestern suburban kitsch. By cultivating this diaristic marginal aesthetic of leatherette, fake gems and ballroom ornamentation, a subtle decentering takes place. She leaves the invisible protagonists outside the frame, causing the focus to shift to the relationship between the objects and social roles.
Paula Maclean drowns the remnants of an almost palpable daily life in resin. Inaccessible to the touch and protected from oxygen, the objects and images encapsulated in cold hard honey belong to the temporality of the memento mori, a poetics whose beauty is all the more poignant because it is about nevermore.
Paula, Grace, Beth, and Xenia's artworks are the product of various traditional artistic techniques and standardized processes, which they appropriate judiciously and with talent to express definite and personal ideas. This is the recipe for long-lasting art.