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Anatomy of a Ghost Horse

24 February, 2024 — 17 March, 2024

THE SHOPHOUSE is pleased to present Anatomy of a Ghost Horse, the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by British artist Naomi Workman (b.1990), currently based in London, UK.

Workman's work consists of figurative and narrative paintings and drawings in oil, featuring intertwined figures in various scenes. The protagonists are depicted in a state of suspended captivity, with their gaze close and quiet in observation. The canvas becomes crowded with multi- figure compositions, incorporating dramatic and rhythmic distortions. That are both performative and theatrical in their extreme poise. Implied narratives play out across canvas and paper as a device for evolution. Where bodies entwine, warp and elongate. The figures are manifold in tableau-like arrangements. At the extreme, these rhythmical distortions shift towards metamorphosis.

The presence of horses and dogs is a recurring theme, representing the companionship and kinship between humans and animals. A mirror absorbs the attention of the subjects, symbolising a search for answers within ourselves through reflection. The constant companionship of horses, dogs, cats and birds serves as an anchor in domesticity. Mothers, sisters, seekers and lovers are enmeshed together in repetitive searching attempts to convey interiority. By compromising the divide between the ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’; by juxtaposing real body tasks with ‘imagined’ thought desires.

Through Anatomy of a Ghost Horse, Workman delves into the language of psychology, specifically the concepts of entanglement and distortion, to explore the duality between the physical bodies and interior worlds of her subjects. The titular Ghost Horse's interior anatomy represents an unattainable search for clarity, as the world they inhabit refuses to conform to their attempts at decoding it.