Since being awarded a first-class degree from Falmouth College of Art in 2012, artist Pippa Young has gone on to exhibit solo across the country. Renowned arts writer Laura Gascoigne writes that Young’s ‘enigmatic pictures [...] are suffused with a melancholy that has the effect of making us feel better’.
Young’s paintings, almost all of them figurative, are drawn from the abstract bricolage of memory and nostalgia -- amalgams of disparate, splintered images and motifs that, with her deftness of technical skill and eye for composition, are made to look wholly natural, wholly familiar.
Through a Glass Darkly (2017), Young’s most recent collection, is the best example to date of the ‘Persistent Illusion’ her work captures. In Precarious Balance, blocks of almost digitally blue squares subsume the upper portion of a painting of a young man, his eyes completely unreadable, as the lower portion of the work swamps his mouth and upper body in that same blue. Another Mother, meanwhile, renders its central Madonna’s face in almost hyperrealistic detail, while her hair and upper-body are comprised of furiously deliberate brushstrokes.
It is in both this clash of technical styles and re-contextualisation of artistic tropes that Young’s talent is best witnessed: work this splintered should not ‘make us feel better’, in Gascoigne’s words, but, somehow, it does.