Domobaal Gallery: Emma Talbot 'Step Inside Love' (until 6th June 2015)
Two sets of four drawings meet the viewer at ground floor level and the first floor landing, as an effective introduction to Talbot's work and themes. While their initial visual impact resembles cartoons, careful consideration shows that they are illustrative of the clichéd social view of female sexual desire: irrational, animalistic, incomprehensible. This is an exciting prospect and opportunity for Talbot to quash these pseudo-scientific, ambivalent ideas and explore not only sexuality but love in its different forms. Generally, the different dimensions within the theme of 'love' are dealt with intensely and separately. One of the first images at the gallery is 'Speak to Me', a visually complex piece incorporating the written word within a flower using free lines and petals with the words 'oh' and 'yes' which connote both banality and the expressions of sexual pleasure.
Many of Talbot's drawings resemble comic strips and this ensures that the narrative is clear and linear, and easy to follow. In the first series, 'Chalet Bed' seems to depict intercourse; without being graphic, the sporadic lines imply a cacophony of messy emotions and ideas as a consequence of an impulsive action. This is where the fusion of fiction, reality and memory develops into its own complex, fresh entity, where the viewer is left inquisitve as to the (auto)biographical details inspiring the works. Intriguingly, the artist cites various and varying influences to her work, including Japanese Shunga, which is certainly evident in many of the drawings and paintings alike, and film noir.
Image courtesy of Domobaal Gallery