Bridget Stehli - Consuming Passions. 24 Jun - 10 Jul, 2022.

Sit Gallery is pleased to present Consuming Passions, an exhibition of new works combining painting, sculptural constructions and textiles by artist Bridget Stehli. Carrying undertones of sexuality, postmodernism, feminism, fandom and the uncanny, Stehli continues to develop her interest in configurations of melodramatic beauty. Consuming Passions interrogates a patriarchal culture that devalues and undermines the artist’s choice of craft media. This exhibition liberates the kitsch, deeming it worthy of artistic investigation.

Stehli presents a series of vibrantly coloured portraits of adult entertainers, inspired by archives of erotic photography from a bygone era. Through cropping and recontextualising the source material, these devotional and reverent paintings soften the subject matter, emulating an alternative and empathetic gaze which prioritises male vulnerability.

Continuing her exploration of the ontological, Stehli now brings this thematic concern to experiments in sculpture, working for the first time in assemblage. Referencing interior decorating tropes and using non-traditional methods that lean into “low” culture and kitsch, Stehli presents miniature paintings that offer a new approach to traditional portrait painting. Where her work often veers between fine art, symbolism and craft, Consuming Passions also explores the limits of form and structure to create a new visual language.

The duality of cat portraiture and soft hand woven carpet creates a surrealist effect; the subject and the materials are intertwined and the otherwise unsightly is given joyful aesthetic consideration.