'Musings' by Victoria Cassells, is a show greatly anticipated, not only because her work has featured almost from day one at the gallery, but because people fall in love with the delicate and dreamy waxed oils. Although Cassells says that she finds it difficult to talk about her work, she refers to the characters in the paintings as her bizarre extended family. During the painting process the various ‘relations’ slowly reveal themselves, giving the artist images to muse over, stories to weave.
Cassells has drawn on memories, emotions, past foibles, daydreams, flights of fancy and the art of storytelling, both visually and narratively, for her series of portraits. Striving to create an ‘atmospheric narrative’, one that encourages the viewer to weave their own story around such characters in Gretel Was Coping Just fine, or The Butcher’s Wife. Cassells’ work draws inspiration from the early twentieth century greats Odilon Redon, Degas, Schiele and Klimt and contemporary surrealist Geoffrey Proud.
Though her palette is for the most part gentle and redolent with glowing, soft colour, this is perhaps deceptive as Cassells’ characters themselves can be dark, and quirky, but not without humour. All is not quite what it first appears.
Cassells immigrated to New Zealand from England 8 years ago and lives in Greytown with her husband and two children. ‘Musings’ will be Cassells’ third solo exhibition, her first in Auckland.