We Stood Around

Eddie Chambers

To encounter one of Mahali O’Hare’s remarkable paintings is to enter a world in which multiple considerations are never far from our thoughts. In the first instance, perhaps, these paintings represent a compelling fusion of contrasting elements – the classical, the sculptural, the figurative, the pastoral, the autobiographical,… The rendered vessels are a fascinating point of entry into the sorts of considerations mentioned earlier – the sculptural, the figurative, the pastoral, the autobiographical, and so on. We see about these forms the unmistakeable depiction of pastoral scenes in which flora, such as woodland or forestry might dominate. Or we see mark-making that carries with it resonances of denser, entangled undergrowth. At all times though, we as viewers are made aware that the paintings contain stories, possibly even secrets, to which we might only have partial access. As much as we look, as often as we look, there are ways in which these paintings withhold as much as they reveal…..