Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present In Season, an exhibition of new work by the London-based artist Kate Bickmore. On show are seven of the artist’s immersive oil paintings that seductively interweave the surfaces, depths and desires of the artist’s experiences as a queer woman using Bickmore’s chosen visual language of florascape.
While simultaneously presenting as both hyperrealistic and fantastical, the artist uses her florascapes to explore new modes of perception, unconscious urges and systems of meaning. Says Bickmore of her process and preferred vernacular: “Within my paintings, I embrace the sensational pleasures, wonder, and enjoyment of plants as a powerful and elusive site of transformation. … The flowers in my paintings are given a majestic and powerful status – depicted not as victims or specimens of the objective gaze, but instead as living, breathing agents that can build consciousness and create a sense of connectivity.” Thus while Bickmore’s paintings exhibit elements of classic feminist critique in their opposition to the objectification of the beautiful under the de trop male gaze, as well as queer theory in their celebration of the plant kingdom and the heteronormative-challenging multiplicity of sexual and reproductive permutations that abound in it, there resides a far more immediate and visceral air of carnality within the works. This atmosphere is reflected in the artist’s mischievous choice of title for the exhibition. In Season is at once a reference to the cyclical nature of flowering plants and the successful growing periods for crops and yet is also synonymous with the period when a female (mammal usually) indicates it is ready to mate.