A tall ship is in distress on a heaving sea, listing dangerously and losing its cargo overboard. The rigging, a fragile, ink-drawn tangle of ropes, is collapsing under the might of waves of incandescent oil paint that pummel its glowing hull from all sides. “Sometimes,” the artist has stated, “it is the paint itself that sinks the images.” The shipwreck as a motif appears recurrently in Whitney Bedford’s work as a metaphor for a more contemporary squall – the turbulent political and social situation in which we live today.

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