Project Native Informant

Rinella Alfonso

Deep Nap

PNI, London

Painting from memory and using imagery informed by archives that she has collected over the years, Rinella Alfonso’s canvases are on the edge of disappearing. They are structures of the unconscious, they splinter and proliferate, disperse and summon, unbounded to a condition of uncertainty. Hoisted into an unstable abyss for observation, or engorged by organic glyphs and gestures, Alfonso’s language is a collapsed montage, a disintegration of time, a process of decomposing and reconstituting. 

Emitting an unquestionable lure, the belongings in Deep Nap; a hot comb, gold chains and hoops or chairs, chosen for their uncanny ordinariness and seeming omnipresence. These personal effects hold an upsurge of emotion, an almost longing. They possess traces of people and places, despite being endlessly produced and consumed, touched, cast-off and forgotten in the everyday. As a sacramental act, Alfonso’s objects are rendered isolated - as flickering, stammering visions - a double distance in both time and space, yet vibrating anew at the centre of their own hallucinatory narratives. Her stark illusive worlds imbue a sense of passage, from one state, or condition, to another. Absorbing objects with melancholic gravity, Alfonso’s animist terrains become at once absurd and plaintive, unordered spaces for uneasy reverie, playing out knowledge we cannot fully understand but intuitively sense. 

Generous in her materiality and scale, Alfonso’s paintings retain the potential to become something else, a decentered substance dotted with wormholes. Unstable glimpses of bodily silhouettes emerge in Deep Nap, 2022. The schematic blur appears tenderly protective of a discarded plastic garden chair - an immemorial contour in a melancholic haze, a biomorphic abstraction shaped in careful spillages of paint thinner. The daubed marks of Hot Ironing Comb on Fire, 2022, syringed oils propelled upwards with a palette knife, are all at once seducing and resisting full explanation. Sensory wisps veer between resolution and irresolution, Alfonso erases in scraping, scratching and pressing in order to resurrect.

In Jesus Take the Wheel, 2022, an airbrushed neon-white rosary dangles in front of a gentle but morbid greenish tinge. A mirage as the matter of the image, a divine revelation halted by a red light. For Ladder Ants, 2022, glowing insects parade towards a poured shimmering murk, veiled in a delicately painted dripping semi-transparent tablecloth. There’s the oasis at the edge of oblivion. For both representation and application, this is a process of outlining the world, it comes together as it falls apart. 

In a language of personal signs and symbols, Alfonso confounds the binaries of artificial and natural, truth and untruth - symbolic mists of alchemical principles, as if something hiding in plain sight. Her process suggests an automatism, driven by sensitivity, that is able to reveal psychic wounds and pressures. Alfonso’s works take on a complex temporality, where singular and collective visions, incidences, and emotions are entangled. And perhaps, in the fluctuant workings of memory, memory tilts to the present.

Rinella Alfonso (b. 1995 in Willemstad, Curaçao) currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Deep Nap is the artists first UK solo exhibition. She received her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, and recently completed a residency at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. She is the recent winner of the prestigious Royal Award for Painting, The Netherlands. Her works have previously been exhibited at Magic Stop, Lausanne; Park View / Paul Soto, LA; La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels and Octagon, Milan.

Units 1 and 3
48 Three Colts Lane
London E2 6GQ
United Kingdom

Wednesday - Saturday
12:00 - 18:00