Bo Lee and Workman open 'I Want to Live Twice', a solo exhibition of new paintings by Kim Booker

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Bo Lee and Workman open 'I Want to Live Twice', a solo exhibition of new paintings by Kim Booker
Kim Booker, I Want to Live Twice, 2023. Photo: Dave Watts

SOMERSET.- I Want to Live Twice is a solo exhibition of new work by British artist Kim Booker. Situated in a former Methodist chapel, the paintings explore existential themes befitting of their setting: fear of death, signifying a more personal shift in Booker’s practice. Working in acrylic on large canvases, Kim Booker uses colour, gesture, and figurative elements to express the psychology of female experience. The paintings feature poses that are suggestive of differing emotional states, created intuitively through a combination of gestural abstraction and layers of drawn and erased imagery.

This new body of work features self-reflective nude female figures that appear in a position of surrender or sacrifice, resembling the crucifix. Booker’s expressive and energetic strokes and scrawls, particularly over the mouths and faces, suggest a silencing or a loss of control to a powerful force, internal or external. A transitionary state both spiritual and psychological is clear, and in their confessional and reflective quality, the paintings bare all in such a way that many might relate to.

Kim Booker

Kim Booker (born 1983, UK) completed a BFA at City and Guilds of London Art School in 2019, and has since exhibited widely in the UK, and internationally, including South Korea, Paris, and Barcelona. She is a studio holder at TKE Studios in Margate.
Booker’s paintings are semi-autobiographical and often feature female figures in poses suggesting differing emotional states. Bodies are used as a language with which to express the psychology of the female experience. Her work is intuitive, with the studio being a place for action and reflection. Paintings arrive on the canvas as things in themselves, rather than representations of a predetermined image or idea.

Her process is gestural and instinctive; paintings are constructed through repeated negotiations between the drawn image and its erasure. The works go through multiple iterations, continually informed and shaped by the artists feelings at the time of making.

The physicality of the act of painting is important. Booker works with her body, with the brush marks reflecting the physical reach of her arm. Marks and colour are added to make a drawing on the canvas, but everything is liable to be scrubbed away in a visceral process. Her paintings explore boundless possibility. As she works things come and go again, but always leaving traces. There is always an integration of abstract colour and the drawn image, with neither dominating. The journey and the experience of painting is as important as the finished work.

Bo Lee and Workman

The gallery was founded in 2022 by Jemma Hickman of bo.lee gallery and Alice Workman, previously Senior Director at Hauser & Wirth, who collectively bring over 30 years of experience of working within the art world. The gallery represents a select group of artists chosen for their distinct practice and forms of expression including Ambrosine Allen, Kim Booker, Lindsey Bull, Will Cruickshank, Laura Ford, Des Hughes, Jonathan Michael Ray and Amy Stephens.

Bo Lee and Workman opened a permanent gallery space in Bruton, Somerset in 2023. Located in the former Methodist Church on the town’s historic High Street, the gallery has transformed the building’s classically proportioned nave into an open and accessible venue for art. New architectural elements are balanced against retained historical details, providing a setting for contemporary art that is thoughtful and sensitive to the buildings past life. A contemplative, and inspiring space for artists, the local community, and a wider audience.

Bo Lee and Workman is committed to representing and enabling the development of established and emerging artists. The distinct identity and form of expression of each artist is fully recognised and supported, and the gallery provides a platform to share their work with local and international audiences and collectors, alongside collaborations with institutions, curators and museums.

The gallery programme for 2023 will include solo exhibitions with Amy Stephens and Lindsey Bull, alongside supporting gallery artists with institutional projects and commissions.

Bo Lee and Workman
I Want to Live Twice: a solo exhibition of new paintings by Kim Booker
Exhibition opened 01 July 2023

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