Tiger GalleryTM is delighted to present Between a Flutter and a Fold, an exhibition of new paintings by London-based artist Michele Fletcher. Intuitive and deeply expressive, Fletcher’s color-filled paintings reflect the immediate and intrinsic beauty of nature, and the ties between the natural world and humankind. Relying on visual memory, Fletcher channels sensation as well as place to create works rooted in the traditions of both abstract and landscape painting.
Fletcher’s work is informed by the time she spends in her garden, where she grows a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables year-round. Depending on the season, the garden offers a changing myriad of shapes and colors that inspire an array of emotions. While Fletcher’s paintings present as overtly floral, they also draw on Romantic and pre-scientific thinking that connect nature with humankind. Her supple, sinuous forms are graceful yet voracious, fluidly rhythmic yet insidious, enacting the hungers, desires, and stresses of life shared by man and vegetation alike. Deep ties to the human body manifest in swirling strokes that recall blood flowing through veins or uncanny structures reminiscent of muscles connected by tendons and joints.
One painting, Alone with my Demons, made of violets, reds, oranges, and dark blues, reflects the range of mental states one can find themselves in while alone. According to Fletcher, “It’s made up of sinewed branches, fiery autumnal leaves, and a menacing sky. I was thinking about the alchemical process of painting – conjuring something from nothing while alone with the good and bad demons I might encounter in nature or the studio.” While that painting stems from solitude, another painting, Butternut Sublime, takes its subject directly from the garden. Fletcher says, “A squash is in the garden, raised from seed to maturity and then eaten. A plant taken full circle. Butternut Sublime is a work about the soul of a plant consumed in a painting.”
Fletcher cites a wide range of art historical influences on her signature style, from the Renaissance to more contemporary figures. Floral details from Botticelli’s Primavera, Peter Paul Rubens’s signature flow, and more recent artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Eileen Agar, and Joan Mitchell are often in mind when she paints. Executed with lucid and poetic precision, Fletcher’s paintings foreground the dignity of plant life and humankind as firmly entrenched within the untamed and relentless continuity of nature.
Michele Fletcher (b. 1963, Ontario, Canada), lives and works in London. She received her BA (Hons) in Fine Art & Critical Theory from Goldsmiths College and her MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design. She was the recipient of The Neville Burston Award for Painting from Goldsmiths College and the Marmite Prize for Painting. She was also a prize winner of the 2020/21 John Moores Painting Prize. Her work has been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2010, 2019, 2021 and 2022.
Michele Fletcher: Between a Flutter and a Fold