Toni Cogdell seeks to capture the intangible moment of human reflection.
A figurative painter specialising in oil on canvas and linen, Cogdell's devotion to the human condition provides her with an endless source of inspiration. "Through the use of the figure and portraiture I seek to convey emotional atmospheres, and the elusive quality of emotive sense and feeling." She says. "The figures in my paintings are seemingly unaware of the physical space around them, focusing only on the forms of their thoughts; whether bathed in light or shrouded by darkness they all exist in a place somewhere between dreams and reality, the physical and spiritual."
Considering how an audience might perceive, reflect and react to a work of art is part and parcel of an artist's development. The amount by which the artist considers the audience, and allows this to affect the subject, fundamentally affects the art. As a portrait artist, this consideration is particularly heightened, as the primary audience is also the subject. Toni's strong desire to reflect more than a physical likeness of her subject, has led her to analyse the point of reflection itself.
For Cogdell the search for the moment of reflection has become a fascinating one. The experience of being abandoned in our own thoughts and emotions, and the impact of this on our physical appearance, however fleeting, is one that intrigues her. It is within this moment of intense reflection, when we are deeply focused on internal thought and analysis, that Cogdell studies our physical form. "There is something about portraying someone, re-presenting them through my eyes that makes it a challenge and a pleasure… I love to reveal that little bit extra, that elusive quality of spirit - probably a mixture of the sitter's and my own."
Cogdell's paintings powerfully demonstrate how the moment of complete immersion in our own thoughts and feelings, can manifest themselves in our physical and bodily appearance. Her ability to scrutinize and translate the smallest and most fleeting of physical expression, and instinctively comprehend what she sees, enables her to present the subject and the viewer with an ephemeral glimpse into the human soul.
At twenty seven Toni Cogdell has been working as a professional artist for over five years. Based in a Bristol, Toni completed a Fine Art degree in painting in 2002 and has prolifically exhibited her work across the UK. Having received a number awards, including the RWA 'Emerging Artist' award, The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) is one of only five Royal Academies of Art in the UK, she was short listed for Channel Five TV's, 'The Big Art Challenge', and was also a Finalist in 'Not the Turner Prize', The Daily Mail in 2003. Her work is now in many private collections and hangs in permanent collections in the UK.
To view Toni Cogdell's work, general exhibition pages and to look at her biography please click here