Lauren Pearce - Will I let you In: Accra, Gallery I

2 - 24 Sep 2022

Lauren Pearce’s paintings are the vibrant manifestations of her interior self. They are the results of a cathartic journey of intimate self reflection. In Will I let you In, a collection of large scale new paintings created during her residency at Gallery 1957 in Accra, Pearce delves deeply into the complexities and nuances of self discovery, affirmation, and intimacy. Specifically, she is exploring how different formats of intimacy are constructed (or reconstructed) as an adult at the precipice of a new phase in life. The way she refers to the process of making this series is as an ‘unfolding’. It is a way of creating artwork that runs parallel to a conscientious un/re-learning. The intimate areas that Pearce is investigating are personal, but also universally understandable. There is an emotionally transgressive aspect of what she is exploring that seeps out of each canvas and envelops the viewer. It is the large and seductive monochromatic backgrounds, which have become a telltale characteristic in Pearce’s practice, that draw the viewer in.


The deep and flat backdrops are simultaneously expansive- even infinite- and constrained. The viewer is both voyeur and participant in a space without parameters. Figures adorned in geometrically patterned fabrics (another staple in Pearce’s figurative painting practice) bloom seamlessly from similar hues. In Letting go with you was easy, a couple clad in nectarine-and-flamingo polkadots and summer-tomato emerge from a tangerine plane. Locked in a frontal embrace that reads as both romantic and protective, the duo look out at the viewer from their orange arena. Neither of their visages betray a sense of circumstance or purpose. Is this a post-coital moment or is it foreplay? Is this a convening or departure? Are they lovers or friends? Free of visual cues, it is impossible to determine a narrative. But context is largely irrelevant. What is essential in Letting go with you was easy, and all the paintings in Will I let you In, is the emotional moment that the painting conveys. It is clear that a fierce tenderness radiates between the two subjects. 

-Extract from text by Jasmine Wahi