Cristea Roberts Gallery presents Soft Knock, a solo exhibition featuring the latest works on paper by Clare Woods, running from March 8th to April 20th.

Delving into the realms of still life and the timeless concept of memento mori, Woods navigates the delicate boundaries and inherent tensions of life. Departing from previous explorations of the human form, her new collages and prints range from depictions of cut flowers to empty stoneware jugs, juxtaposed with imagery of laden skies. Hovering between figuration and abstraction, the pieces in Soft Knock offer a blend of the familiar and the uncanny, the gentle and the eerie.

The exhibition title, Soft Knock, merges opposing concepts, evoking associations with both unsettling news delivery and supernatural occurrences like the foreboding knock on a door. This juxtaposition reflects the underlying tension inherent in Woods’ work. Each piece’s title is drawn from a vast archive of quotations, carefully selected to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

Midway, 2024

In her new series Still Here (2023), Woods presents six screenprints featuring Wedgewood and stoneware vessels in muted blue tones, each imbued with an unsettling aura. Reflecting on these objects, Woods notes, “These objects capture familiar moments in the home, representative of a typically safe place. However, these same moments can be altered by events outside that are unfamiliar and dangerous.”

The technical precision of screenprinting, described by Woods as “controlled chance,” has become central to her practice, alongside painting and collage. Throughout the exhibition, still life compositions of bouquets and vases of flowers serve as focal points, exploring the delicate balance between beauty and mortality. Woods’ collages, meticulously assembled from hand-painted paper, offer layered narratives that meld influences from traditional art genres with contemporary themes.

Accompanying the exhibition is a new episode of the Cristea Roberts Gallery podcast series Making a Mark, delving deeper into Woods’ artistic journey and the themes explored in Soft Knock.

Header: Collage for Woolworth’s Roses, 2023

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