Toni Cogdell was born in Bristol, England, in 1979. Continuing along an artistic path she studied at Bath School of Art, Bath Spa, graduating with a BA Hons degree in Fine Art in 2002, launching straight into her own studio practice thereafter. While exhibiting her work across the UK as well as selling internationally, she has honed her process and techniques to give voice to her expression, a personal style seeking to connect with the world around her.
In walking the space between figuration and abstraction Toni finds a freedom which allows her to go deeper into the intangible substance of the psyche and human condition without restricting or enforcing definitive ideas. Pulling recognisable truths into the work while giving reign to the unknown and ensuing contradiction to hold its own space, her paintings are looking for a balance, a kind of peace. In every journey travelled there is darkness as well as light, with more questions than answers. And these are the places Toni looks to find beauty.
As flickers of starlight in a constellation of living bodies, the figures in my paintings are solitary, but not alone. The inward moment they are captured in; their form fusing with paint, marks and textures, acts as a portal to spaces behind knowledge, a sensory sea of feeling, a self beneath our belief of the self. Us, simultaneously set in consciousness and clay.
Symbolised in paint are the comforting and familiar objects which reveal themselves through the haze of daily life. A repetition of natural reminders cutting through a technology-driven Age. The horizon in your periphery as you travel. The tree you see every morning unrewardingly standing as the backbone to your inner monologue. City lights floating on water at night, flowers scattered like fallen stars on the land, silhouettes of hills behind buildings, birds, blossom, branches, our own personal talismans of nature and living. Motifs and markers that guide us subliminally.
And like the movement of migrating birds we connect. Our dreams and designs launching into the cosmos, gravitating towards kin, leaving invisible threads with which to weave a life.
These themes are the crux of my work, meandering across the territory of the Human Condition, exploring the constant dialogue, contrasts and tensions between the lives we lead and the lives we feel, our outer and inner worlds, the spaces between the parts. Exploring our individuation as well as our innate connections to nature, time and ultimately to each other. Telling the story of us from the inside out, through painting. Somewhere between a wish and a call to arms.
How the Light Gets In
Mon - Tue : 10am - 5:00pm
Wed : By Appointment
Thu - Sat : 10am - 5:00pm
Sun : 11am - 4:00pm
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McAllister Thomas Fine Art
117 High Street
Surrey GU7 1AQ