Aby Floyd is an oil painter and textiles artist who lives and works in London. She graduated in Fine Art Painting from Wimbledon Collage of Arts, UAL, in 2018. Since then, she has had her own solo show, been represented by Artpiq online gallery, and has sold both in the UK and internationally. Her figurative and narrative work experiments with materiality and embellishment to bring her oil paintings into the realm of the opulent artifact.
My practice consists of vibrant oil paintings which focus on the use of materiality to breathe life into their narratives. Textiles, embroidery, light-altering mediums, glitter, crystals, gold leaf and polymer clay embellish the exuberant paintings making them sparkle and shimmer from different angles. They invite the viewer to look closer to discover details and immerse in their playfulness. This is in a bid to blur the line between craftsmanship and artistry and to create the sense of opulence seen historically through textiles techniques that have adorned clothing, bedding, accessories and tapestries. It is a reflection of our innate seduction by the luscious and exquisite. Our magpie instincts. The use of materiality enhances the work with a new, whimsical dimension and creates a separate entity for the art to exist within. The new, tapestry-style, project pushes this use of materiality even further and brings my paintings into the realm of the object/artifact. Iridescence, decadence and an almost grotesque richness embody these works.
The paintings themselves indulge in the liberation of imagination and draw inspiration from poetry and fairy tales, human obsession with collection and curation, the Pre-Raphaelites and Romantics and the gaudy, psychedelic qualities we can find in the natural world. They especially focus on the awe, terror and beauty of the Sublime in nature, the beasts that exist within it, and its ability to energise emotions that transcend the human experience.
“The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark—now glittering—now reflecting gloom—
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings”
‘Mont Blanc’ by Percy Shelley
There is also a thread of horror vacui (Latin for the fear of empty space), which is emulated in each piece. The subject matter permeates and congests each surface leaving little space for the works to breath. This aids their lavish and gluttonous over-ripe qualities creating decadent undertones in contrast to the alluring objects and creatures. It is especially relevant when painting the natural world, as Artistole said “nature abhors an empty space.” The work exaggerates and twists the real world into a fictional, fantastical form of escapism.