Cairns’ careful selection of materials is crucial to the feeling these paintings possess of being of another time. A dark raw linen canvas, worked over with smooth broad brushstrokes of oil paint in a limited palette of deep blue and sunflower yellow, and the combination of pensive and humorous subject matter in Cairns’ paintings furthers this notion. The describing of predominantly hard-edged imagery in two quite saturated contrasting colours is suggestive of mid-20th century print advertising, and also speaks to Cairns’ interest in the act of cartooning, which is brought to the forefront in this exhibition with the inclusion of a number of cartoon prints produced as a result of Cairns’ time at the Alan Moir Advanced Cartoon Classes. The cartoons tend to convey more detail through their use of line, however the centrepiece of the exhibition is still Cairns’ paintings with their virtuosic and seamless brushstrokes, seductive surfaces and witty compositions.
See more images at BREENSPACE.