Rarely does an artist so beautifully capture the rhythms and pulsations of contemporary city life like Rebecca Meanley does in her vivid abstractions. The paint seems to move and dance, to engage the viewer in a duet with its vivid palette and joyous expressions. The visual equivalent of jazz and tapas in a sun-drenched terrace bar, this is art created for anyone in love with the chaos and directionless sensation of contemporary life. Meanley uses colours which intensify as they collide as she scratches, scrapes and bruises the canvass in an explosion of controlled recklessness.
The artist creates music within her work. This music in turn pulls in the viewer and coaxes them to look deeper and move along with the beat of the youthful paintings. The forms and palette delight in not conforming to logic and expectation and therefore invite further investigation. She uses shapes that suggest far more than they reveal, offering an insight into the places and people that inspired the work. These shapes could be representative of plans of the city, free spirited bohemian friends or graffiti sprayed buildings. The forms are set against the riot of blood reds, limes and turquoise of a hot afternoon or the paler pastels of an after hours den.
As any urban dweller will tell you, there is symmetry in the mayhem of the city. Meanley’s work shows the underbelly of order and routine that holds the whole thing together. The contrast of the structured, repetitive patterns with the liberty of the carefree lines sets the whole canvass alight with an energy that leaps forward and demands attention. The work highlights the uniqueness of every individual’s experience against an unchanging urban backdrop of buildings and settings. The places may well be here for an eternity but each person will only be there for a flash, and in that instant they will leave their mark. This is work for lovers of vivacity and vitality and for anyone who feels the pulse of the contemporary world.
By Alan Perkins