Angel Child & Monkey
By Chloe Cumming
Acrylic and canvas board
Image size: H: 32cm x W: 40cm
Framed size: H: 42cm x W: 50cm
This extraordinary and intimate painting is typical of Norfolk-based Chloe and her sideways perceptions of life and relationships.
Lit by a warm, golden aura, the young child gently reaches out to touch the expressive fingertips of the slightly startled-looking monkey, resplendent in his bow tie. Both have strangely domed heads, as if they are distantly related. And the chld has angel wings replacing ears.
The theme of humans' kinship with apes come to mind. But, stronger than that, is the tenderness of the scene that suggests a quiet communication, or bond, between the two figures, also indicated by the heart symbols in the background.
Philip Pullman fans may think of the daemon companion concept from his Dark Materials trilogy. Dæmons are the external physical manifestation of a person's "inner-self" that takes the form of an unusual animal.
Typically for Chloe, brushwork is dynamic and expressive, with modelling of form within dark outlines, and the limited colour palette is a muddy rose and grey with gold highllights, enhanced by the frame.
ABOUT CHLOE CUMMING
After many years of creativity, in which she has built up a following of collecters, Chloe makes her art gallery debut at Spencer House Gallery this winter.
She is an unusual draughtswoman and observer of life. Her art output is prolific, as much a release and expression of her own thoughts and emotions as an outpouring of recurring figurative and symbolic motifs and figures.
She tries to find something alive and beautiful in mundane or downtrodden objects or figures - hence her toilet and traffic cone collections. She is attracted by taboo subjects or by the notion that places or things are not celebrated or acceptable in 'polite society'.
Her interest in Vincent van Gogh - and, hence, her many depictions of him - is prompted by her drive to express the man behind the myth and the social and emotional barriers he faced. Like him, her own painting style is defiantly idiosyncratic and independent of any movement or genre.
In some of her more aggressive and vivid images, one can detect energetic and frenetic aspects of Francis Bacon, combined with a range of surreal and haunting elements and narratives of her ow