Monthly Picks: Lesley Thiel

Lesley Thiel - Guest Curator March 2024

Lesley Thiel

This month we are privileged to have Lesley Thiel as our guest curator. Lesley’s name may not be as familiar to Quirky Fox supporters as some of our previous guest curators as Lesley won’t be showing with us until July but the wait will be worth it. Lesley’s work is layered in visual, metaphorical, literal and emotional cues. Her work blends nature, femininity, a hit of nostalgia and deeper meaning. While we wait until July to introduce Lesley’s work, she kindly took the time to pick two works from the gallery that she would introduce into her own collection if given the chance.



Coming & Going by Linda Lunnon

Coming & Going by Linda Lunnon

Choosing two works from ‘Strange Dreamscapes, at Quirky Fox, was incredibly difficult, because they are all such wonderful pieces by incredibly talented artists. ‘Coming & Going’ reached out to me, because it is a quirky and novel idea, and also so beautifully executed. In choosing a porcupine, Linda Lunnon has gone for an animal that is not often represented in art, which is sad because that face and those sparkling eyes are just adorable. And the representation of its rear, as the companion image, makes the viewer stop and see all the complexities of fur and feet that one would never normally take in. Combined, the two pieces give a feeling of being in the moment and watching something ephemeral, yet solid.

I’ve never used scratchboard, which means I have huge admiration for anyone who can achieve this nuanced level of mastery of light and shade in such a challenging medium. Linda has captured movement and texture with incredible skill, and to a level where one no longer sees technique, but only an animal on its way — briefly in your life then off to do its thing. The gloss on the animal’s forefoot and muzzle and that little hint of light on the receding paw are such skilful touches, but it’s the feeling of being confronted with a personality, stolid and friendly, that really makes this such a lovely piece.



Balanced Duality by Kerry Jane

Balanced Duality by Kerry Jane

Kerry Jane’s ‘Balanced Duality’ is a beautiful play on the theme of opposites. She’s taken a pair of quarrelsome magpies and created a battle royal. By representing an inversion of one of the magpie’s feathering, she expresses the tension we experience between two opposing views, where opinions seem irreconcilable, even as we recognize that these are essentially two of a kind, differentiated only by the superficial. It is a clever and appealing way of expressing very human conflicts, which originate almost exclusively in our psyches, as represented in mythology by butterflies. The fighting birds seem oblivious to the life around them, focused as they are upon destruction of the other.

Kerry’s style is reminiscent of the work of the Victorian naturalists who defined how animals were represented before photography. The softly defined feathers, in the wings of the birds, and the patterns on the wings of the butterflies, speak to an artist who spends a lot of time observing nature. Despite its tight rendering, this piece has a sense of movement and of vitality that makes it very dynamic. And the tiny, beautifully drawn details, keep the viewer coming back to discover something new, each time.



It is always interesting to read the details that strike other artists when looking at a piece and I appreciate Lesley taking the time to do so.

We will have a new guest curator and their picks next month.

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