A_Place Gallery is delighted to present Soft Spot, a solo exhibition by Amy Winstanley.
Amy Winstanley’s paintings emerge through an indeterminate response to a wide range of inputs - everyday life experiences, the natural world, emotion, memory and various theoretical frameworks from feminist to environmental discourses. Running through all this is a desire to feel connected to the other, a coming to terms with the way in which everything that is not ‘us’ is utterly distinct from us - and how we might remain open enough to allow those boundaries to permeate.
What results are paintings primarily delighted with their own medium. The paintings present at first glance as pure abstracts. But very quickly, organic and natural shapes emerge, as well as landscapes, bursts of light through foliage, a suggestion of a tabletop or a window, a room. The surfaces dance with painterly intrigue, never a moment or square centimetre unconsidered or untouched by intuitive marks. The colours are a menagerie of pastel hues, late-afternoon yellows, fresh lilacs, interspersed by shocks of pinks, blues or reds. Some moments are tempered with thin washes of brown or grey or white. Always a history of momentary decisions are breaking through. The paintings individually read as somehow having an overall temperature even though they can be broken down into a huge spectrum of colour. They are a celebration of the painted language, straddling feeling and fondness without ever straying into over-sentimentality.
Soft Spot is a title which emerged for the artist much like the paintings themselves; language and words are often floating in the ether for Winstanley as she paints. Previous solo exhibition titles include “Lost Hap”, “Slim Glimpses”, “Moral Limb” and “Grief Bruise” - perhaps these titles are an exercise in writing the shortest possible poems. Soft spot is a phrase used to express affection for something or someone, but is usually intended to downplay this fondness - often it betrays the deep love we hold in reality. A soft spot might also denote a point of weakness or vulnerability; for the artist, the image was of the soft tissue on a newborn baby’s head, present for a few months before the skull has fully fused together. This soft spot is delicate, yet exists to enable something that is hard and formidable - the act of birth. For Winstanley, the paintings on view respond to the tension that pulses through experiencing difficulty - that these times are often also accompanied by deep affection. Her work is an act of taking what can feel like large, difficult or heady ideas and working them through in paint with lightness of touch and sensitivity of colour. Like viewing a nebula through yellowing, translucent leaves.

Amy Winstanley (born 1983, UK) is an artist based in Glasgow. She has a MA from the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam (2017-19) and a BA (Hons) in Sculpture from the Edinburgh College of Art (2001-05).
Recent solo exhibitions include Slim Glimpses at Cample Line, Dumfriesshire (2023), Lost Hap at Margot Samel, New York (2023), Moral Limb at Stallan-Brand, Glasgow (2021) and Grief Bruise  at Lunchtime Gallery, Glasgow (2021). Recent group exhibitions include Out of Earth, The Approach, London (2024), Opening at A_Place, Glasgow (2023), Strangers at Rongwrong, Amsterdam (2022) and Potluck at Gallery 17717, Seoul (2021). Amy was nominated for the Sluijter prize for painting 2019 (Netherlands), and has been the recipient of the Hope Scott Trust award (2014) and the Creative Scotland Visual Arts Award (2010 and 2014). Along with the artist collective ALKMY she has published short stories and images in What Ties Ties, Ties (2020) and What Thoughts Think Thoughts (2021) both through Print Art Research Centre, Seoul.
Amy is represented by Margot Samel, New York.
31 May - 14 June 2024
Preview 31 May, 6 - 9PM

Opening Hours:
Sun 2 - 4
Tues & Thurs 11 - 2
& by appointment

Akin to Nostalgia, 103 x 93 cm, oil on canvas, 2024

Friend, 20 x 26 cm, oil on canvas, 2024

Untitled, 30 x 26 cm, oil on canvas, 2024

Seeds, 66 x 61 cm, oil on canvas, 2024

Soft Spot, 64 x 54 cm, oil on canvas, 2024

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