'Louise Todd specialises in visual culture, Festivals, events and tourism as Associate Professor at Napier University. This academic research informs her artwork through the observation of people and places. the experience of the tourist through photography and sightseeing: this is the art of travel, past and present' (Vivien Devlin, The Smart Leisure Guide, October 31st, 2022)
This pop up exhibition at Whitespace Gallery features the distinctive work by four Arion artists, Louise Todd, Catherine Young, Hazel Brady and Jayne McIntyre, covering portraiture, figurative studies, abstract land and seascapes.
31 October 2022
Louise Todd specialises in visual culture, Festivals, events and tourism as Associate Professor at Napier University. This academic research informs her artwork through the observation of people and places. the experience of the tourist through photography and sightseeing: this is the art of travel, past and present.
Louise crafts meticulous cool, crafted compositions which capture the faded look of those vintage, out of focus snapshots lurking in a family photo album.
The apt title Deckchairs, somewhere clearly implies a long-forgotten holiday, now just a hazy memory of a couple sitting in the sunshine, who stare directly at the photographer. The girl in a lilac dress has her arms folded and legs crossed, as if not entirely at ease with having her picture taken. The thick brushstrokes create a blurred, washed out veneer with a soft rosy pink glow, across the sky, perhaps denoting sunset.
Several figurative studies capture similar moments as if posing for the camera lens: on a voyage of discovery, at an Intermediate stop off: Port of call, two cruise passengers stand at the railing of the ship against a backdrop of the sweeping bay of a coastal resort and looming mountains beyond.
‘I am interested in narratives of visual culture in tourism, and the tourist gaze, how we experience and perform tourism. My artwork intersects how we gaze as tourists with curiosity and a reflected artist’s gaze upon tourists’. (Louise Todd)
‘Hotel Room’ (1931) by Edward Hopper captures the loneliness of the modern city, a central theme in his work (Hotel Lobby, Nighthawks). A woman sits on the bed in an anonymous hotel room, her coat lying on a chair beside her suitcase. We are voyeurs observing this solitary, rather sad figure, intently reading a brochure, lost in thought.
The intimate, private space of a Hotel Room is also the focus for Louise Todd as part of her voyeuristic gaze on travellers on vacation away from home. Here, a shadowy figure perches stiffly, rather than relaxing, on the edge of the bed, again reading, perhaps a city guide book. The curtains are open to reveal the dark night sky outside, the whole scenario like a freeze-frame from a movie.