When viewing the work in the Project Space at Kingston Gallery by member artist Joan Baldwin, one is very conscious of being watched. This installation of paintings moves between the feeling of a guard looking into a cell to a sense of looking out windows towards strange and imaginative vistas. The impulse for making the work is just that, as Baldwin intended it is “to have a person in a cell, confined and imagining scenarios out the windows.” The painting, Interior Door, sets the scene and evokes a prison door with a guard peering in. The effect of the work being installed in the white walled space is to create an imaginary and dreamy space. Baldwin states that, “a few people commented that the eyes looking in looked like my eyes, so maybe I was monitoring myself and checking in on my imaginative visual thoughts.”
The Project Space at Kingston Gallery is a place for member artists to explore new ideas and to present new and in-progress bodies of work. Baldwin is know for her fantastical landscapes, using characters derived from ancient Roman statuary and gargoyles in her last show, but for this exhibition she wanted to take the opportunity to experiment with something new. Using the entire space for an installation was another idea Baldwin had in mind when creating this work. The Project Space was a good fit for this and the resulting work created “a place where the imagination can rule, and a metaphor for someone going a little crazy,” says Baldwin.