Layla Rudneva-Mackay’s practice is not medium specific, having moved through sculpture and photography and drawing to painting flowers out of a persistent interest in form and colour. And, more importantly, in what the consideration of form and colour require as a methodology over and above any material choices.
The still life tradition offers a space apart from many forms of complication – a space of non-criticality, or an acceptance that, as Manet put it for a time on his personal letterhead, “everything happens”.
It could be seen as an experiment in what happens when a person leaves the space of analysis, interpretation, strict representational orders, or narrative curiosity, and is interested in what things look like when the conversation of the body is avoided.
The practice appears to make a space for being lost for words, and learning to inhabit this peaceably, despite the compulsion to continually put energy into the challenge of language. Such an experiment leaves space for other states or kinds of being to be accepted and occupied.
Painting, here, seems like the material results of metaphysical enquiry into primary or natural states, and different registers of thought. The visual is given primacy over customary expectations about the gathering and sharing of information and knowledge.