The High Life will be Lydia Blakeley’s largest solo exhibition in the UK presenting a series of paintings, painted sculptural sun loungers and cool box planters containing cacti and crystals.
Taking the 1995 Microsoft advertising campaign ‘Where do you want to go today?’ as a point of departure – where a montage of people connect and explore via the internet – and linking it with the Covid-19 pandemic – where people had to experience the world through the internet – Blakeley’s installation looks at the digital realm of escapism during a period of crisis. Using imagery from holiday websites and the influx of budget holiday adverts, Blakeley’s intention for the paintings is to ‘suspend those fleeting and aspirational scenes for the viewer’s contemplation’.
This exhibition is generously supported by The Paul and Louise Cooke Endowment, Arts Council England, Niru Ratnam, London and Partizan.
Lydia Blakeley (b. Bracknell) lives and works in North Yorkshire. Selected recent exhibitions include: ‘Mixing It Up: Painting Today’, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); ‘Classics’, Niru Ratnam, London (2020); ‘Dog Show’ and ‘Hospitality’, Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2020); ‘National Velvet’, Alessandro Albanese Gallery, Matera, Italy (2020); ‘Looks like you’ve reached the end’, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (2020); ‘Everyday Heroes’, Hayward Gallery/Southbank Centre, London (2020); and ‘Fanspeak’, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2019).
Blakeley received a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Leeds College of Art (2016) and an MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London (2019).
Lydia Blakeley is represented by Niru Ratnam, London.