Cathy Lomax, Aloha from Hawaii, 2013, oil on card 20x30cm double sided, with mirrors on rotating mirrored turntable
Lomax's work is rooted in the romance of popular culture, often taking the form of groups of paintings, which may be combined with other elements to create fragmented stories that chart a curious contemporary longing for something unobtainable.
The 1953 film From Here to Eternity, which was set in Hawaii around the time of the Pearl Harbour attacks, created a Hawaiian shirt boom. Aloha shirts (as they are properly called) were first created, from kimono fabric, in the 1930s by a Chinese Hawaiian. Every GI or Marine stationed in Hawaii would pick one up as a souvenir. They were a symbol of good times, an outfit for holiday and leisurewear, and a little bit of exotica to take home. The original shirts were simple floral patterns in muted colours but contemporary shirts tend to be brighter and their designs more graphic and figurative. The wearing of a Hawaiian shirt at different time periods, and the degree of luridness of the shirt signifies very particular and nuanced character traits. From the uber-cool of Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity (1953) to the sadistic lasciviousness of Robert De Niro in Cape Fear (1991) to the post-modern devil-may-care trashiness of Christian Slater in True Romance (1993) and onto its most recent skater chic incarnation on the back of slacker Rory Culkin in Electrick Children (2012). Aloha from Hawaii features paintings of these four shirts on a mini mirrored merry-go-round, which reflects and doubles the shirts and their exotic images. The work is in the Exhibition Room in Sutton House, which also features a mural made when the house was squatted in the 1980s.
Also in the exhibition (in the cellar) is Cathy Lomax's 2012 digital video Outside which was filmed on the sub tropical island of Tresco, 20 miles off the Cornish mainland. The shadowery forms behind the striped fabric take on a mysterious allure as they move around in the wind.
Cathy Lomax, Outside, 2012, digital video, 45sec, looped,
edition of 10 and an artist’s proof
Cathy Lomax lives and works in London. She has MA Fine Art, Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London, 2002. Recent solo exhibitions include Glass Menagerie, B&B Project Space, Folkestone and group exhibitions include Ornament, huntergather, London W1, 2013; Masque, Galerie d’YS, Brussels, 2013; Unknown Sitter Dos, Charlie Dutton, London, 2013; This Me of Mine, APT, London, traveling to Art School Gallery, Ipswich, 2013; Misdirect Movies, Royal Standard Liverpool, travelling to Standpoint Gallery, London, Greyfriars, Lincoln and Meter Room, Coventry, 2013. In 2014 Lomax begins a painting fellowship at The British School at Rome.