Nadia Hebson

Nadia Hebson’s elegantly melancholic paintings plunder iconic images from an array of subject matter – Dutch sea battles, early German landscapes and Elizabethan miniatures – and are loaded with acknowledged symbolism that alludes to grand philosophical concerns in the history of painting: Romanticism, The Sublime, Melancholia Nadia is currently the Durham Cathedral Resident Artist.

What is initially a bewildering choice of subject matter; Flemish portraits, medieval landscapes and marine paintings are all plundered for Hebson’s Grand Mal. By cutting adrift these simple iconic images from their (art) historical context Hebson services them for her own ends. Testing the plausibility of sentiment as a continued convincing subject matter for painting. These heightened images corralled together begin to suggest an ambiguous psychological realm. Painting on copper and zinc with small tentative marks the paint is worked to a point of fatigue.

Weeping doppelgängers and phantasms of galleons glow and fizz unnaturally in filmic negative. Paint blooms like a psychic bruise to obscure and reveal detached but emotionally charged images. Through the involved (obsessive) build up of delicate marks these paintings quietly carve out their own distinct atmosphere. Low-key emblems slow burn, dimly illuminating a quiet melancholia.