Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2016 - Highly Commended by the Judges
Blinded is a small scale oil on board painting with two blurred figures on the backdrop of an ambiguously bright landscape. The protagonists clutch their eyes, sensitised to their surroundings as if they’ve emerged from captivity or are subjected to an onslaught of car headlights. The blurring of the forms parallels the quick pace at which we view digital photographs from the news as well as the hazy desert surrounding the characters. Russell removes signifiers of context, place and setting. Thus, her painting is less focused on the specificity of who is being featured and more enmeshed in the feeling that arises from web-surfing the news: the familiar yet disorienting mind-space that our digital devices transport us to.