If you haven’t yet heard of Layla Andrews, you soon will. Her large-scale abstract and expressionist portraits have caught the eye of Barack Obama and Stephen Fry and been included in a number of small exhibitions around the UK. Now she’s the subject of a solo show at Soho Revue in London.
Good Company brings together a collection of surreal group scenes, selected still lives and sculptures which celebrate the importance of joy, conviviality and human interaction after a time of hardship, uncertainty and solitude. Crabs, crocodiles and cowboys populate her scenes of revelry, painted with bold colours and expressive brushstrokes.
One work shows croco-musicians playing to an imaginary audience; another depicts crocodiles and a panther tucking into a feast of shrimps and wine. Also on display is Rachel, a monumental lobster sculpture that the artist made during her time as artist in residence in Brixton Village. Made from recycled rubbish and second-hand materials, Rachel is one in a series of crustaceans named after a key female family member.
There’s something playful and absorbing about these compositions — and a dose of light-hearted fun is always a good idea. Hop to it!