In her new – and very first – solo show at The Old Bank Vault, Amy Fleuriot-Reade lets us have a glimpse at her sanctuary. Not only is this the title of a self-portrait in her own garden with a rich variety of plants and colour, but I would call every page of Fleuriot-Reade's travel diaries her sanctuary. In the exhibition we get to see not only sketches, photographs and impressions of her travels over the past years, but we can relish in her colourful and intricate pieces as well as her detailed black-and-white work.
In our very first episode of The Protagonist Talks, we asked Fleuriot-Reade about her inspirations, which undoubtedly evolve around travel, but equally are grounded in her local area of East London and the seaside at Margate. Plants play an important role and she explains that her work "Hackney Road" features a specific "underrated" tree (watch the video to find out which one this is!). As an avid gardener, she includes a large variety of flora in her images. Fleuriot-Reade's artwork portrays situations and scenes beautifully, not always as she sees them, but as she remembers them. Moods and lived experiences, paired with a keen eye for observation, culminate in rich and busy portrayals of people, animals, landscapes and buildings. Looking closely, we can spot stories within stories within stories – and the artist’s beloved dog Hiro.