Artwork of the Month: April

Artwork of the Month: April

April's Artwork of the Month has been chosen by Malcolm Ashman RWA. He has picked Still Life by Diana Bourdon Smith from the RWA Permanent Collection. Malcolm writes:

'The art of choice, what influences us? Faced with the extensive RWA collection I had to choose one painting. It was tough, there were so many I wanted to show.

Still Life by Diana Bourdon Smith RWA stopped me in my tracks. It’s an early piece and although her work is familiar to me, this painting was unexpected.

Diana studied fashion and illustration at Kingston College of Art and later, painting with Professor Anthony Betts and Robin Child. I met her and several RWA painters including Diana Sylvester, Harry Walker and Gerald Cains in the 1980s as members of the Bath Society of Artists. After my short time at art college I learnt much from them, it was a wonderful apprenticeship that set me on course.

I associate Diana’s work with the landscape of foreign lands, scented heat and shimmering light. To find this still life was a surprise, it’s a domestic setting but there is drama here.

The figure, half concealed by a curtain, is shadowy and mysterious, the artist as an alchemist.

The table in the mirrored world tips but the objects remain, the tension caught and breath held. The pattern in the cloth is bold and emphatic but does not dominate.

There is a sense of two worlds gently colliding and for me an unnerving feeling that I am through the looking glass. The orange, in the centre of the group, adds an exotic element, an intimation of what’s to come in future works.

As with all good painting, it engages and invites us in. It’s a conversation waiting to happen.'

Diana Bourdon Smith's painting will be on display on our upstairs landing throughout April.