Galina Munroe: The King of Carrot Flowers

02/10/2021 - 30/10/2021

PV: Friday, Oct. 1st, 6-9pm

Union Gallery is pleased to present Galina Munroe’s The King of Carrot Flowers, curated by William Gustafsson.

In this exhibition Munroe’s scenes are presented as if an offering; a celebration of the still life.

The full-frontal compositions of the larger-scale paintings confront the viewer, brimming with life, a sense of springtime with flowers blooming in young enthusiasm. Painted in a naive and juvenile style, the works are contrasted with the thickness and complexities of the intricate layering of the backgrounds, reflecting the inner arguments of the artist, jumping between thoughts. The looming anthropomorphic flowers with long dancing bodies, take on and fill the lack of human presence. We only intervene as voyeurs in these works, we do not exist for them.

Further, Munroe looks at the opposition between the English “still life” and the French “nature morte” (dead life). Simple still lives hold tender humour, some parts seem to be alive, others just passed, plant cuttings and fruit pickings placed in a bowl await human presence. Munroe clashes hope and optimism with despair and scepticism, life and death where beauty can be seen in both. The space between what is close and what is far, a poetic universe of pleasure and silent moments that appear recognisable but with a certain strangeness.

Exhibiting for the first time are Munroe’s ceramics which were produced in collaboration with ceramicist Meredith Adams. The ceramics are born out of the paintings. As in Munroe pictorial practice, whereby the objects should break free from the borders of the canvas, fall off or out of the paintings. They hold their own presence in reality.
And now through her ceramic practice, they come to life.

Taking the title of the exhibition, Munroe has chosen these accompanying lyrics.

You were the king of carrot flowers

And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet

And your mom would stick a fork right into daddy's shoulder
And dad would throw the garbage all across the floor

As we would lay and learn what each other's bodies were for

And this is the room

One afternoon I knew I could love you

And from above you how I sank into your soul
Into that secret place where no one dares to go

And your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking
And dad would dream of all the different ways to die

Each one a little more than he could dare to try

Munroe, b. 1984, lives and works in Norwich, UK