Evoking the un-made city of Leningrad
In the form of new paintings, prints and drawings, this exhibition is an exploration of “Latte Leninism”; what champagne socialism has become.
Inspired by her recent trip to Saint Petersburg, Martha Kelsey presents a westerner’s snap-
shot view of Russia’s faded and re-named metropolis. It is under the pastel veneers of restored palaces and in the memorable after-taste of vodka that one senses Leningrad, a Soviet city un-made.
As the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution approaches, these artworks provoke timely comparisons between 1917 and now; you are invited to question the state of democracy today and the importance of British relations to Putin’s Russia.
Monday 7th August 2017 | 5.30 — 7.00 pm
8th August 8th — 11th August | 10.00 am — 7.00 pm daily | Free Admission
Characterised by chalky shades and sorrowful washes, Martha Kelsey’s paintings belie their basic material: oil paints. Despite tackling a diverse range of figurative subject matter, Martha’s paintings on canvas, linen — or both fused together — frequently conjure a sense of earth and water. Faceless characters drift as the sparse inhabitants of imagined spaces.
Uncertainty in her work is matched by the flux of her practice. She continues to test new ground in her Cheltenham studio, introducing preciser watercolours and bolder screen-prints to her repertoire. All can be seen in the touring “Latte Leninism” exhibition, which is a test-bed for many new ideas and techniques.