Prints and drawings by Penny Hallas
7 February to 18 March
In my pictures I try to capture something of the way the world and the human psyche interact and modify one another; the way that constructs of reality are continually being transformed by the flow of fantasy, the pressures of engagement.For me, the image of the shield, like the mask, evokes something of the way human beings struggle to impose order on chaos whilst simultaneously revelling in the carnival of transformations. A shield, like a painting, is at once an emblem of defiant individuation and the marker of a site of vulnerability. It is at the same time a protective barrier and an invitation to the dare and peril of encounter, an encounter where identity itself may be at stake. Whoever looks into the surface of a shield (a mask, a painting) is already in it and already moving through it. What's behind it waiting for them is always stranger than they could imagine.