Review of the month: Secret Gardens at Wilder Gallery by local artist Jessica Holmes
Secret Gardens at Wilder Gallery brings together the work of seven painters whose style is intriguing and varied, from the meditative to the clamorous as they make sense of the world through botanical motifs and mark-making.
The exhibition takes inspiration from the Voynich manuscript and, like the mysterious 15th Century vellum, it is a feast of different processes and approaches as these artists create their individual visual spaces.
A particular joy of this exhibition is that each painting gives you a distinctive experience of the Secret Garden. Beatrice Hasell-McCosh’s SAD, a large scale diptych, unfolds more and more as you spend time with it. If you just look a little longer into the foliage dominating your field of vision, what will emerge?
What new element will you glimpse in the shady palette It’s a jungle of moods and marks to navigate through. You need to get up really close to the tiny paintings of Holly Mills. There is a subtly to the mark making here, little iridescent scars that evoke weather and multiple layers which create a wonderful tension between order and chaos.
Minyoung Kim’s whimsical paintings are occupied by cat-beings wreaking havoc in nature. These bright dynamic works are so intriguing and as with a comic book, one wonders – what will happen next? This is a verdant and witty exhibition, perfect for the season.
All images are by Demelza Lightfoot.
Secret Gardens 7 June – 1 July 2023 at Wilder Gallery
Wilder Gallery: 77 College Rd, London NW10 5ES
Jessica Holmes is an artist based in Kensal Rise. She studied at the Royal Academy Schools and has exhibited widely, both in the UK and internationally.