Statement 2017

A’Court’s practice explores the notion of the visual sublime working within painting, collage and drawing, she employs re-imagined landscapes as a trigger for encounter or contemplation.

Classical landscape references are reinterpreted in a new context, rendered in graphite on a variety of surfaces. The form, composition and materiality are meticulously constructed to summon a state of mind rather than a specific location.

The tension between the precision drawing and the loosely painted ground references different models of art history and alludes to contrasting types of mental attention competing for the same psychological space. 

A' Court invites curiosity of ones own mental states. Her interest has been formed by her meditation practice and by the ideas of pre-eminent psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist in his book “ The Master and His Emissary-the Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World”, presenting his research on the hemisphere differences and the different perspectives they have in constructing our current experience and impact on our society.

 A'Courts 'Escape from Eden' body of work draws from the ideas of McGilchrist, and his reflections on Milton’s Paradise Lost.  McGilchrist sees a parallel between the way in which Lucifer pits himself against God in Milton’s epic, encourages Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge, and brings about their eviction from Paradise, and the way in which the left hemisphere of the brain, which knows less than the right, nonetheless believes itself to be superior, promotes only its own brand of knowledge, and results in the increasing alienation of human consciousness in the West.  A'Courts figurative, imaginative portraits that are also landscapes engage the right hemisphere of the viewer’s brain, with its acceptance of ambiguity, its appreciation of natural beauty and of the human face, as a way of healing the division, and achieving the numinous experience of an Escape – from our own alienation.

In A’Court’s work the artist is effaced and we do, precisely, find ourselves drawn into the grain of the experience. The stare of the hungry eye is softened and, as she puts it, in a wonderful phrase, the gaze is ‘slowed down’.
— Iain McGilchrist, author, former Consultant psychiatrist & Director at Bethel Royal & Maudsley hospital, London, researcher in neuroimaging Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Fellow of All Souls College Oxford