Dressing Up is a solo exhibition by Lindsey Bull, an artist whose work explores psychological states, reality and illusion through figurative painting. Bull depicts a curious cross-section of people – they often seem lonely, melancholy, shy and introverted, as if trying to avoid our gaze or to distance themselves from the world. But they are also often eccentric, gregarious characters who enjoy their subcultural affiliations and live out inner fantasies through their outward appearance – dressing up in unusual clothes or fancy dress, unorthodox hats, over-the-top make-up, way-out hair. It is a bohemian cast, an eclectic community of outsiders and auteurs, interlopers and introverts, waifs and strays, dandies and extroverts. 

Having long been captivated by the nature of performance, Bull’s latest body of work draws influences from the mesmerising worlds of carnivals, circus and theatre; her characters are crafted from original sources, gradually becoming fictionalised as her artistic process evolves. These ambiguous characters, suggestive of no particular place or time, are placed within contexts that ask the viewer to consider how the stage is set and the layers of authenticity that may be at play. A recurring theme, Bull’s long-held fascination with costume, dress and ritualistic behaviour and how clothing can determine behaviour, becoming a marker of a particular sense of belonging (or desire not to belong), is utilised to capture a moment that gives something away about her subjects’ states of mind. She exposes their personalities, their psychologies – these are the momentary revelatory flashes that Bull immortalises in paint. 

Wish you were here

This new cast of characters continues Bull’s raison d’être – to herald the non-conformists, the outsiders and the independent-minded. Whether strong characters or those more insecure in their alternative fashions, Bull is a champion of the unconventional, of anyone who wishes to live their life outside the mainstream… 

PV: Thursday 7 November 6 – 8pm 

Dressing Up is on at bo.lee gallery, 222 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4NL from November 8th – December 1st. |Times: Wednesday – Friday 11am – 6pm | Saturday 11am – 5pm (or by appointment) Phone: 020 3302 6440 


Main picture: Dancers