Mia Chaplin is a painter who lives and works in Cape Town and the second artist-in-residence at the gallery’s permanent space in Bos en Lommer, where she has been working on her new presentation for the past month.
Working in oil on canvas and paper, her highly expressive works are characterised by their rich impasto surfaces and visible brushstrokes. Chaplin’s most recent works emphasise a muted colour palette of pink fleshy tones and golden highlights, consisting of still lifes, figure studies and landscapes.
For ‘Underbelly’ Chaplin created paintings and sculptural objects, in which she explores the crooked, misshapen and imperfect nature of intimate relationships as they manifest in private environments. Chaplin is interested in gendered power structures and how identity is performed through societally-entrenched femininity. The fracturing of these intimate images suggests a feeling of disrepair or destruction. There is an attempt to garner control and autonomy, a holding together of something which keeps falling apart. ‘Underbelly’ is the urge to create a solid feeling, and the need to understand and own agency.