Artist

Hester Finch

Hester Finch is a London-based artist who studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University. Hester works in a variety of media, from oil paint to pastel, concentrating primarily on the nude. Her work is utterly captivating in its power to lure us in with her technical skill and her use of bright and inviting colours, and then trap us in a claustrophobic, often-nightmarish world. She says: "My intention is to represent a psychological space as much as a literal one."

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Hester's Style

The female nude is a common theme in her work. She constructs angular and awkward bodies which are at once highly representational, and at the same time abstract in their faceted, flat planes of colour. Hester plays on the familiarity and predictability of an age old subject - the nude female model posing for the artist; but in her work, the mundane is juxtaposed with the surreal, and the gaze is subverted (no longer that of a male artist, musing the female body). 

 

It is this surreal quality which makes Hester's work so fascinating - her seated nudes are not seductive, but rather they feel watched to the extent that we, the viewer, become complicit as captors of these women. They are firmly seated in their chairs (by will?) and backed against a wall, often with a looming shadow creeping up behind them, suggesting that they are being surveyed under harsh light. Rooted in feminist theory, her works powerfully represent the female experience.

 

Read Hester's interview with Liberty London where she discusses her influences and her process and this Times Magazine feature where Charlie Gowans-Eglinton discusses body image and the uplifting experience of posing for her nude portrait by Hester Finch.

 

To enquire about Hester's available oil paintings or to discuss a private commission please get in touch.

"My work explores the human experience from a personal and female perspective. Using either soft pastel on coloured paper or oil on linen, I utilise the female nude in a simple interior setting, often alongside props such as plants or drapery that symbolise sexuality and fertility, and always set against looming shadows. The whole is rendered in bold, clashing colour, subverting what could be pretty and submissive into something more threatening and unsettling." - Hester Finch

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Winter Prints 2022

"In this new series, I have brought the nude into the bedroom. Transposed from the usual setting of a chair in a domestic space to the bed, the focus shifts from the broadly psychological to the more specifically sexual. The figure’s posture can be read in different ways bringing questions of power into play. The nude is closely cropped within the space becoming both truncated and headless but not necessarily denoting submission. Drawn from a low eye level, the intention is to make the viewer’s role ambiguous: complicit, voyeuristic, participatory etc." - Hester Finch, In The Bedroom

Drop 5 - Winter 2022

"In this new series, as well as the studio, I have brought the nude into the bedroom. By using acidic jarring colours I aim to heighten the tension and the dreamlike nightmarish quality of the compositions. Nudes have become truncated, headless or engulfed by their shadows and their surroundings. To amplify this even further I enjoy retrospectively setting drawings side by side into diptychs and triptychs, juxtapositions that clash in new and unintended ways, creating new creatures and forming the beginnings of a narrative." - Hester Finch, Diptychs and Triptychs

Drop 4 - Autumn 2022

"With these new works I am continuing the transfiguration of the nude by splicing and burning. They deal with issues of identity around motherhood and beyond." - Hester Finch, And On And On

Drop 3 - High Summer 2022

“These three paintings are about a conflict of identity and self, and how reality in this context can be slippery, changeable and subjective. They are supported by three drawings. ‘Consciously adult’ is a phrase Bruce Springsteen uses to describe his 1987 album ‘Tunnel of Love’.” - Hester Finch, Consciously Adult

Drop 2 - Summer 2022

"These two works are linked by their psychological mood. Both women avert their gaze from the viewer and appear lost in their own thoughts. One figure lies on a mattress on the ground, with a black plant tucked away in the corner amongst the shadows; the other appears to be outside and is split down the centre. These drawings are about introspection, they reflect an inner state as opposed to a physical state." - Hester Finch, Inner State Series

Drop 1 - New Year 2022

"These three new works particularly focus on using blocks of colour to create tension and form. Clashing bright hues jar against one another whilst heavy black shadows dominate the composition. These shadows are as significant as the figures themselves and give shape to the inner landscape of an individual, structured as it is by their past and by their future." - Hester Finch, Shadows

Winter Limited Editions Prints 2021

"These two prints showcase two of my pastel drawings that particularly deal with the idea of creating structure through colour. No particular element is given precedence over the other, from the sitter to the shadow to the room, with the exception being the deliberately spare use of dark off-black line. I enjoy playing with colour so that it confuses the eye and subverts the illusion of depth. Eventually the nude begins to break down and become inseparable from the space." - Hester Finch, Pushing Colour

Drop 2 - Spring 2021

Winter Limited Edition Prints

Prints

Other Artworks

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