Betra Fraval

Fraval’s paintings sit in a place of shared and personal experiences; they are at once familiar yet strange. Silently and wistfully referencing time, rather than place, they emit a calming and contemplative sense of nostalgia. There is a beautiful and precarious coexistence between the organic and the man-made that has been constant in Fraval’s practice.

Progressing from her previous works which explored the delicate meeting of science and art in carefully balanced geo-based installations, Moving Mountains is an exhibition of paintings that continues Fraval’s exploration of graphic impositions left on the landscape as a marker of human legacy, whilst also referencing organic cycles of time.

Moving Mountains

There is an eerie strangeness in the landscapes of abandoned mines. The once active sites lay exposed and carved up by the process of digging and excavating. Baron piles of soil create soft uniform hills, like the final scene in Tarkovsky’s film The Stalker. It is a wasteland, bearing the marks and trails of production, and the man-made tiers and shelves in the mountain face. Dismantling the immovable monolith and separating its elements into piles of valuable resources.

The paintings are at once familiar and strange. The graphic imposition on the landscape, become a marker for the human structures and legacy. The works sit in a space that is painterly, but also graphic. The exposed rock-face, reveals the cycle of matter and the mountain, once formed through a creative build up over time is dismantled once again.

There is so much fortune and national history based around sites of rich minerals. The elements in the soil have shaped the culture, plundered the landscape in search of riches, denuded sites of their natural inhabitants (trees, people, animals), and left them combed of resources, in a state of aftermath.