my love for still life painting has been quite luke warm for the most part of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries but i have however developed a serious fondness for the work of lesley vance and her abstract reference to seventeenth century spanish still life. these differed from their northern flemish and dutch counterparts with a distinct lack of plentitude and pleasure. their traditional baroque austerity has been beautifully abstracted by vance while still retaining a striking contemplative richness. what i enjoy about her interpretations is how she maintains a certain tension between her deliberately disguised forms which become even more pronounced with her darker backgrounds… but what the works have lost in shape they make up for in motion. the still life of lesley vance seems not so still after all; it has a dynamic force of colour and movement that rekindles the essence of still life… everyday shapes turned masterpiece.