Well Projects is excited to present ‘Cherry Sour’ a solo exhibition of new paintings by Suzy Babington. Primed with a frenetic immediacy, the acid sweet works in ‘Cherry Sour’ trace contrasting patterns in flat bright colour and 3D impasto. Curving tubular forms become engulfing spiralling frames and lurid stripey arrows send you spinning towards the centre of the plane. Lifting elements directly from a collection of rave flyers and mixing them with drawings composed of memories and sensations, the paintings in ‘Cherry Sour’ often involve recurring motifs; dancing legs, spirals, arrows, cherries and sleepy zzz’s hover over ethereal landscapes like a kind of visual interference, bringing your eyes in and out of focus as you search for a horizon.
These energetic interactions describe a making process that draws from an instinctual form of decision making; a kind of painting from the gut – taking in influence and impulsively churning it back out. Colour and application takes center stage in Babington’s paintings. Primarily using oil paint she finds ways to push the medium into new territory; by scraping back and reapplying new layers Babington treats the paint almost like plasticine, building up surfaces into rich topologies and textures. Sometimes applying paint straight from the tube, heavily contrasting colours are laid down alongside one another prompting a kind of optical reaction, like the magnified wings of a butterfly or the RGB glow of a computer screen. These messy and alluring processes seem to find traction through Babington’s impulsivity in the studio – similar to the feelings of freedom and energy that can be found in the music scenes that inform her work; as she listens to uplifting disco and rare grooves from the 70s right through to now; she gets carried away in making the work relying on trust and instinct.
‘Cherry Sour’ is the flavour of the show; a tangy acid grimace that hovers between the delectable and the overpowering. Babington finds this wonderful liminal space as she builds up the surfaces of her works; layering paint straight from the tube alongside hazy swathes of considered colour, finding solutions in repetition, and making unexpected decisions as the works develop. ‘Cherry Sour’ embodies this process of call and response, a tinge of nostalgia quickly fading as you glide into the tactile freedom and lively excess of Babingtons world.