Limerick, Ireland
Rebecca Ivatts, Fallen Angel, 2006, 3 paintings, mixed media on board, 140 x 100 cm

Rebecca Ivatts

b. 1972, England

The human figure – as a subject of great power, strength and dynamism – has always been central to my work. My paintings are underpinned by draftsmanship, but expression takes precedence over realism. To maximise the presence and immediacy of my figures, I work in large format and depict bodies that are at least life-size in scale.

My figures are not set in recognisable contexts; this way they take on a life of their own and transfer their own essence more poignantly. They are animated by lightness and ethereality, or gravity and strength. I think my work is most compelling where it somehow combines these polar opposites.

In keeping with my desire to fix the human figure above and beyond its literal everyday surroundings, I am now seeking to find a synthesis between the human figure and the wider cosmic context, drawing on cosmology, astrophysics, quantum theory and Big Bang theories. In a sense, I want to feel my way towards a new science-informed spirituality while staying within the great tradition of European figure painting.

(Text: e v+ a – matters catalogue, 2010)

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