Tina Francis Review
By Catherine Evans
Tina Francis gives us permission to gaze into a new world. The detail of her paintings sometimes resembles photographs, which resonate from the walls. They are awake and urgent to tell us a story. The urgency plays out an enticing narrative, of mother caring for their children. The ever-watchful child in Precious Cargo’ gazes out at the world, with the hint of a frown deepening his brow. The child may have seen more hardship, at this young age, than we see in a lifetime. There is an undeniable strength to Francis’ women, seen particularly well in ‘A Lady Waits’.Her face seems to ask: ‘Where are they’? She is relatable in her expectant stance and we have all been there, waiting for something that may never come.
The stillness of the landscapes contrasts beautifully with the defiant faces of the women. The beach landscape and ‘The Dolphini’ take place under a glowing moon. The white and blue hues creates a sense of serenity. One can imagine oneself dipping their toes into the cool sea. ‘The Dolphini’ is a mystical painting, with two dolphins jumping into the air, quite literally erupting out of the midnight blue water. Here, the movement punctuates the stillness. It encourages a concentration and contemplation of nature; such is the vivid nature of Francis’ works.
Animals are prevalent in Francis’ work, their wildness giving us a glimpse of true Africa. The painting entitled ‘Rage’ stand out. The cloud of dust, that the elephant kicks- brings the whole piece to life. If you gaze long enough, the elephant may walk out of the wall and into the room. Francis’ work suggests that we can experience these animals that are ordinarily too wild to approach. It is this charming place of approachable wildness which absorbs us into Francis’ paintings.