Oriele Steiner:I Could, But I Wouldn’t
Signed on reverse
Oil on canvas
23 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches
Oriele Steiner’s paintings give power to colour: earthy tones of ochre, umber and green are liberated from their subject matter, unifying her figurative scenes. Conceived during the most recent lockdown, I Could, But I Wouldn’t (2021), depicts a crouching female figure in a short green dress. Her oversized limbs command our attention, as they bend and twist across the cropped canvas; blocking our view of the rolling landscape that sits beyond. With a cigarette in one hand, the towering central figure glances down to shine a beaming light on a small black spider, dwarfed under her dominating form.
Inspired by an anecdote of Steiner’s own isolation, the artist found herself cowering in the garden to hide from her intrusive neighbours, and formed a curious fascination with a spider that had made itself at home there. Responding to this, Steiner creates a bizarre dreamscape; its lone figure feels oversized for the canvas, her limbs barely contained, echoing the universal feeling of being confined to our homes during the global pandemic.
B. United Kingdom 1993
Oriele Steiner explores varied techniques and painterly processes in her work, in particular focusing on the experimentation of light and colour. Creating vivid dreamscapes, populated by eerie figures, Steiner uses vivid colour as an expressive tool to lend her works depth and emotion. Steiner’s figures are often inspired by found photography, her imagination or taken from drawings. Through the use of repeated motifs, such as chequered patterns and curvaceous lines, Steiner creates a visual alphabet which she develops through free-associative drawing and painting.
Steiner (b. 1993) received a BA in Fine Art Painting from Brighton University in 2015. She was selected for the prestigious Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2016 and has exhibited extensively in the UK.