Retro-style paintings toy with our nostalgia for mid-century modernism

in Inspiration / Art

This series of paintings is the handiwork of Lydia Blakeley. In her first solo exhibition, Blakeley presents these six new paintings, using retro-style images to toy with our nostalgia for mid-century modernism. Bourgeoisie notions of leisure are presented as dream-like aspirations and female figures are picture-perfect air-hostesses and homemakers.

Blakeley graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2016 with a first class BA (Hons) in Fine Art, and now returns for this special exhibition. Her artistic practice explores contemporary culture through painted collage, drawing together references from the 1950s until the present day.

A critical text will accompany the exhibition, written by Professor Derek Horton, Visiting Professor of Contemporary Art at Birmingham City University, and co-director of &model gallery, Leeds.

Lydia Blakeley was born in Reading in 1980, and now lives and works in Leeds. She previously worked in fashion retail for over a decade. This former life in retail has surreptitiously infiltrated her artistic practice, she uses painting as an investigation into the consumption of imagery and the desire for aspirational lifestyle ideals.

The exhibition runs until 14 April 2017 at Leeds College of Art’s Vernon Street Gallery, Leeds, LS2 8PH. To see more of the artist's work, visit lydiablakeley.com.

Lydia Blakeley, A Lucky Day, 2016. Oil on linen.

Lydia Blakeley, A Lucky Day, 2016. Oil on linen.

Lydia Blakeley, Elevation, 2017. Oil on linen, 200x132cm. Photo Ciaran Davies

Lydia Blakeley, Elevation, 2017. Oil on linen, 200x132cm. Photo Ciaran Davies

Lydia Blakeley, Out of the Blue, 2016. Oil on linen.

Lydia Blakeley, Out of the Blue, 2016. Oil on linen.

Lydia Blakeley, Year of the Cat, 2017. Oil on linen, 40cmx50cm. Photo Alex Vann

Lydia Blakeley, Year of the Cat, 2017. Oil on linen, 40cmx50cm. Photo Alex Vann

Lydia Blakeley, Refine, 2016. Oil on linen, 40 x 50cm. Photo Ciaran Davies

Lydia Blakeley, Refine, 2016. Oil on linen, 40 x 50cm. Photo Ciaran Davies

Lydia Blakeley, degree show installation shot, June 2016.

Lydia Blakeley, degree show installation shot, June 2016.

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