Nettle Grellier:So So, (I Can’t Find It)
Oil on canvas
67 x 47 1/4 inches
So So, (I Can’t Find It), comes from Nettle Grellier’s latest body of work which continues the artist’s exploration of the figure, touch and bodily presence.
The composition focuses on its two central figures as one seems to recline slightly, while the other puts their finger into their companion’s mouth. This figure looks out at us, as though we have disrupted them in the middle of this intimate moment. Grellier frequently interacts her figures in this way, questioning our conceived notion of physical closeness and our engagement with others. The figures are given a strong physicality through the stark contrast of light and shadow that Grellier uses to give shape to her forms, their presence dominating the scene.
The work is imbued with a surreal quality, as the figures appear to sit beside a body of water, painted with the same earthy rich tones as the mountains and shore that surround it. The orange glow of the setting sky reflects on the water’s surface, while at the same time a rainbow reaches from the background to arch over the the figures coming to a stop right in front of the figure on the right-hand side. Adding to the bizarre scene, a giant slug slopes past in the background, its body blending with the outline of the mountains.
In her new series of works, Grellier amplifies her figures relation with their natural landscape often including insects and slugs and worms in her compositions. So So (I Can’t Find It), depicts a small worm wriggling out from behind the foot of the figure on the right. Grellier uses these invertebrates to contrast the physicality of her human figures. It’s inclusion, along with the oversized slug, gives the allusion of a visceral landscape and heightens the scene’s unsettling air.
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.