Biography / Artist statement
Lindsey Whitelaw represents precariously balanced communities working in symbiotic relationship with an environment which is at a crisis point. In her Hive series she explores this subject on both micro and macrocosmic scales. She fuses imagery with abstraction, embracing chance effects of drips, dots, spaces and smudges to draw attention to the materiality of the oil paint.
Her landscapes are both luxuriant and foreboding, hinting at the pending effects of climate change. Solitary bee hives on the brink of the unknown, in barren yet seductive settings of smokey pearly greys, dusty taupes and splashes of flame orange. Communities of hives dissolve into a mist of uncertainty or are set against a dark disquieting background of threatened forest. Abstract patterns made by the bees themselves are painted as remnants and traces from abandoned hives.
She paints both from London and Cyprus, a divided island separated by the Green Line. In this series she depicts nature triumphing over the hostile manmade barrier of barbed wire, concrete and oil drums.
As a landscape architect a majority of her work was with communities, helping them to enjoy respect and care for their urban environments, and she sees her paintings as a continuum of this work. Although the human form is absent from the paintings, the impact of people on the environment is ever present.
Her current Moorfields project is exploring how people with ocular impairments see this world, taking a series of her paintings and interpreting what they see, giving rise to a range of responses. These will be exhibited as part of a wider exhibition at Moorfields Hospital in October 2021,