20.9 – 11.10 2022
Nettle Grellier:She Always Does Have a Good Time
20.09 – 11.10.2022
Huxley-Parlour are delighted to present the inaugural exhibition at their new Maddox Street space, Nettle Grellier: She Always Does Have a Good Time. Nettle Grellier’s exhibition considers feral womanhood through several semi-autobiographical motifs: disobedient dogs, soft bodies, and disquieting, gossipping subjects. The exhibition uses references across high and low culture to delight in unashamedly slovenly, feral, and unpredictable womanhood.
Grellier considers the motif of the dog as a symbol of the transgressive feminine. From heraldry to Renaissance allegorical paintings, Titian to Renoir, dogs have long been used as symbols of doting obedience – often that of women to men: in portraits of married couples, a dog placed at the subjects’ feet would symbolise marital fidelity; in portraits of widows, a dog would symbolise loyalty to the memory of a subject’s late husband. Inspired in part by her own relationship to her dog, Nettle Grellier’s work subverts the idea of the dog as a patriarchal symbol of subservience, instead capitalising on what Paula Rego terms as their ‘powerful’ qualities of independence, aggression, fierceness.
At once grotesque and beautiful, Grellier’s unsettling and playful imagery also considers intimacy, the body, and the gendered dynamic of social relations. Taking inspiration from the small town rumour mill, Grellier’s approach consciously takes after Dolly Parton, who based her own maximalist, personal style on the concept of the American small town ‘tramp’. In the same way that Parton idolises the very traits that made the town ‘tramp’ so heavily scorned – big hair, heavy makeup, miniskirts – Grellier embraces feminine traits which are often marginalised. The exhibition explores themes surrounding gossip: its position as an inherently feminine pastime, its ability to create intra and para social relationships, and its social value. At both small and large scale, Grellier’s subjects snigger behind raised hands, give onlooking viewers sideways glances, and grimace conspiratorially from beyond the picture plane. Cast in a lurid palette, the paintings in She Always Does Have a Good Time rethink feminine pleasure.
The exhibition is open Monday-Saturday. 10am-5.30pm on weekdays and 10am-1pm on Saturdays.
B. UNITED KINGDOM1993
Nettle Grellier’s work is characterised by her use of soft fleshy pinks and reds, coupled with earthy browns and greens. Grellier explores the notion of touch in her work, seeking to make us more comfortable and aware of bodily presence. Predominantly figurative, her work focusses on the relationship between her subjects and their own awareness of self. In her most recent work, her figures interact and touch in unexpected ways, challenging our notions of intimacy and established social behaviours. It also grounds the figures in their natural landscape, exploring the natural world in a sensory way.
Grellier was born in 1993. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting from the University of Brighton in 2015, before completing the Turps Banana Correspondence Course in 2020. Her work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.