We have included this painting in 'Emergence & Transformation' since it embodies our feelings of being trapped at home during lockdown, and now as we emerge our desire to be able to travel and explore the world as before.
This work is from Chris Gollon's 'NAKED MUSIC' series, his two-year experiment in artistic boundary crossing with singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy. It is Chris Gollon's response to the song 'Dreaming of Leaving' (NAKED MUSIC, 2016) which Eleanor co-wrote with Lloyd Cole. The artistic collaboration began after Eleanor McEvoy bought a painting by Chris Gollon entitled 'Champagne Sheila', a middle-aged female nude, pouring one too many glasses of champagne. It led her to the concept of her next album, NAKED MUSIC (pictured with this work), for which she tentatively asked Chris Gollon to paint an image for the cover. However, Gollon was so taken with the music and how the lyrics allowed him, as a man, into areas of feminine thought and desire, he produced a series of 24 paintings, four of which were used on the album sleeve. In January 2016, a NAKED MUSIC exhibition was held in central London, curated by IAP Fine Art at Gallery Different, at which Eleanor McEvoy performed and launched the album. Later the same year, 'NAKED MUSIC The Songbook' was published (Hot Press Books, Dublin), which included the songs and the paintings, as well as interviews with Gollon and McEvoy about their collaboration.
“For this NAKED MUSIC marriage of Eleanor McEvoy’s music and Chris Gollon’s paintings [...] they have each worked individually, while also accepting the risk and challenge of incompatibility. At first glance, Gollon’s startling and provocative figures may seem to have little in common with McEvoy’s classically sculpted tunes and lyrics, but there’s a defiant edge to her work that encourages it to lean out over the parapet and embrace Gollon’s almost anti-classical approach. [...] just as Gollon’s images have been praised for their “stark visual simplicity and the absence of background detail”, so McEvoy’s performances on the fourteen songs on NAKED MUSIC are pared back to their most naked forms, bearing only the most essential elements. So an apparent incompatibility becomes part of what links these two fine artists together, and the juxtaposition of their work in NAKED MUSIC encourages the fan to look again and listen one more time." Excerpt from 'NAKED MUSIC: The Risk and Challenge of Incompatibility', an essay by music journalist and author Jackie Hayden, in 'NAKED MUSIC: The Songbook', published by Hot Press Books, Dublin (2016).
Courtesy IAP Fine Art and artist's estate. First shown in 'NAKED MUSIC' exhibition and album launch at Gallery Different, London, curated by IAP Fine Art.
2016, NAKED MUSIC, London
Emergence & Transformation, on-line exhibition, IAP Fine Art (2020)