Birth of a New Britain at Ramsay & Williams, Margate, May 2023
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Birth of a New BritainAn exhibition by Twinkle Troughton
The Gallery at Ramsay & Williams 6 Market St, Margate CT9 1EU 11th - 29th May 2023 Wednesday - Sunday 11am - 5pm
Twinkle Troughton presents a new body of works, including two site-specific floor- to-ceiling paintings, as she explores her unsettled feelings about the political landscape in the UK since the Brexit vote in 2016.
Twinkle’s work is informed by both the personal and the political; a love of storytelling and for nature, and a strong connection to her European heritage informs much of the content, whilst the societal often underlies the work. Fascinated by the alchemical reaction of oil paint, mediums and solvents to form corrosion and light on canvas or paper, her paintings can pull between the abstract and the figurative.
Twinkle’s current focus is topiary gardens; originally a European creation hailing from ancient Rome, the tradition of topiary gardens eventually found its way into the grounds of stately homes around the UK, denoting wealth and status. The paintings exhibited in Birth of a New Britain feature ominous lone topiary trees, often in a state of decay and revealed in a haunting light.
In Twinkle’s work, solvents and paints interact so that they literally erode the landscapes they depict, acting as a metaphor for the country’s now fragile relationship with our closest neighbours, and a class system which clings onto notions of an empire that no longer exists.
Both the title of the exhibition and of the paintings on show have been taken from two main sources; Brexit newspaper headlines pre and post-referendum which highlight the potent and divisive nature some of the British media played in convincing the British public to leave the European Union, as well as lyrics from patriotic and nostalgic British (mostly English) poetry. Birth of a New Britain was the headline for The Telegraph’s Brexit Special Edition following the historic vote; in 2016 the birth of a new Britain happened, but not the one that was promised.