Philippa Cannan’s painting, showing at Lewes’ Hop Gallery in October, is influenced by her previous practice as a psychotherapist. She is fascinated by how people relate to one another and to the world. This is reflected in her work through the ways in which the figures – abstracted animal and human forms interact with the surrounding space and to the canvas as a whole.
Through painting, Philippa aims to express her sense of the connection between the more literal or concrete aspects of life and the many other dimensions and depths of human experience.
The animals here are representative of the instinctual – their form takes on that of cave paintings. The momentary glimpse of a horse and rider, a deer standing motionless, the movement of a horse, a dog or a bird in flight, are taken through the process of painting into an arena of reverie, memory or, perhaps, what Freud described as “free-floating attention”.
Energy, movement and stillness are also important elements in her painting. She reflects these in a similar vein to that of a dance or a piece of music. Her work achieves a sense of timelessness, each painting embodying a sense of its own reality: a felt or imagined space, to which the viewer may respond.
The exhibition opens at the Hop Gallery in Lewes on Saturday 8 October until 20 October.