Pip Dickens

Pip Dickens’ paintings often resist words. You can describe their background textures and note the distribution of marks on a colour field, and you can spot the overlap with contemporaries like Estelle Thompson and Mark Francis, but not much more.


They seem to dwell in the shadows of meaning, their veils of ghostly fabric both suggesting and concealing their myriad sources. As if aware of this she has been collaborating in recent years with the composer Monty Adkins to find some equivalence between her visual notation and the language of music. In her new show, the haunting movement of one medium plays across the vibrating fields of the other, setting up a serene interaction that replaces analysis with engagement, words with sensations.


In her shadow land there is a sense of letting go, of drifting into a reverie: shapes rise and sink through gently oscillating surfaces and disembodied paint marks hover above and pulse beneath the steady hum of their indeterminate grounds. It is the world of dusk, of quiet reflection and hazy drift, somewhere close to the border of the unconscious mind.

Pip Dickens: Patterns of Shadows, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London, to 17 April 2012