Bella Kesoyan
This Fragile Life
BK > exhibitions > THIS FRAGILE LIFE

An exhibition by Daniel Malarkey: This Fragile Life was curated at the Dickinson Gallery in Mayfair until 26 April 2021.

‘The imperfection is acceptance.’ -PF

Drawing inspiration directly from nature and natural forces, young artist Purdey Fitzherbert blends classical training with traditional Eastern aesthetical values. In This Fragile Life, showing her new body of work, Purdey has created a human presence within a realm of nature by using found imagery, man-welded ladders and geometric patterns. These tokens of the human world feel familiar but are at the same time completely unrecognisable when discovered in the new context. Subtly present in every single one of her creations is a sense of human imperfection succumbing to the overpowering forces of nature. In her process Purdey values mistakes just as much as she values successes. She underscores her own imperfections as a human to enhance, not reduce, her connection with nature and relay this connection to the viewer. The missing or lost parts of the hand-drawn checkerboard pattern on the background talk about the cycle of decay that exists for everything in the world. Fragility of presence and disintegration are a part of natural cycle of life and Purdey’s works are a continuation of that cycle.

Summer 2019

Purdey Fitzherbert Summer 2019, 2019 Pigment, iron filings, ink, dyes on canvas, wood frame

It is always exciting to see the artist challenge herself and succeed when tapping into a new creative force. By following a desire to create a vehicle that would help her viewers to enter her artworks almost like a person would enter a previously unknown space, Purdey has created a sense of parallel universes that could be inhabited by those who dare to dream. A creative breakthrough that lifted and transformed her work gave birth to so-called ‘hide-and-seek’ worlds. The ladders have not only become metaphorical doorways into these microcosms but also a symbol of enlightenment and growth. Unfinished to symbolize the constant search and difficulty of reaching the harmony with nature, the ladders are entwined with the worlds they lead us to.

Purdey Fitzherbert Black Water Caves, 2021 Handmade Japanese paper, pigment, ink, dye, colouring pencil, steel ladders, graphite

Black Water Caves

Purdey’s compositions are driven by interactions between different pigments. She has always been fascinated with the ability of the human eyes to perceive colour and this has influenced her throughout her entire artistic path. By using pigments that come directly from nature or even making them herself from primal ingredients (sometimes rusty nails or even bugs), Purdey transcends their inherent energy into the viewer’s subconscious. The history of pigments and the struggle that went into procuring them infuses the artwork with the history of evolution of human abilities across generations.

Purdey Fitzherbert
Glowing Vent, 2021
Handmade Japanese paper, pigment, ink, dye, colouring pencil, steel ladders, graphite

Glowing Vent

Purdey defines abstraction not as a result of her creative process, but rather a path she embarks upon when starting a new ‘object’. While the process of recreation and containment of materials can be limiting, the beauty of spontaneity when materials interact with each other independently allows her to embrace the roles of both, observer and creator. Drawing upon the ancient Chinese concept of Yin and Yang, Purdey finds a beautiful equilibrium between chaotic creative energy of Yin and driven and structured Yang. Only by finding balance between two polarities, we can connect with a higher ‘Divine Force’ and tap into the pure creative energy of nature.

Dark Cobbles, Yellow Conduit, Collapsing Polisade,

Purdey Fitzherbert
(Left to Right)
Dark Cobbles, 2021
Yellow Conduit, 2021
Collapsing Polisade, 2021
Handmade Japanese paper, pigment, ink, dye, colouring pencil, steel ladders, graphite