Glass visits the Molly Parkin Life In Colour Exhibition


MOLLY Parkin has a new show, and it’s not to be missed. Following the success of her retrospective at the Stash Gallery last year, Parkin has been busy experimenting with a new medium and the results are displayed on walls painted hot pink at Chelsea’s 508 Kings Road Gallery.

Molly Parkin pictured with Falling in Love Again And Again, 2017

Molly Parkin pictured with Falling in Love Again And Again, 2017

Parkin’s limited edition “acid prints” are the happy result of an experiment a couple of years ago to create an ’after Warhol’ headshot replication with a portrait of Molly as the subject – this piece opens the exhibition.

The beautiful outcome led to Parkin creating a series of limited edition prints: photographs of her paintings that are then digitally manipulated by her “right-hand man and technician” Robert Chilcott to achieve a second life, a fresh incarnation playing with saturation and colour to achieve effects that, as Robert says, “can’t be achieved with paints”.

“We make it,” he says, “as incorrect as possible.”

My Life In India 2, 2017My Life In India 2, 2017

The results are glorious; the prints are strong, deep, drenched. We are particularly drawn to three works that have been created from Parkin’s Indian paintings. We saw the originals at the Stash Gallery show, and they are warm, quiet and muted. In their second incarnation, they are a riot of hot pink, silver and deep blue. Impossible not to think of the Diana Vreeland quote “pink is the navy blue of India” when viewing these.

Plenty of Parkin’s wonderful paintings on show here as well; mesmerising abstracts and sharp and witty portraits including a fabulous acrylic of the unmistakable Barbara Hulanicki.

A Welsh Romance 2017A Welsh Romance, 2017

Write this show into your diary as firmly as you might any of the upcoming London Fashion Week events. It’s impossible, if you are a devotee of fashion, not to feel utterly inspired by Parkin’s new work. For this reviewer, the upcoming LFW shows will be as nothing if they do not deliver a calf-length skirt that is a sliver of silver (My Life In India 2, 2017), a fine navy silk-jersey sweater (Girlhood, 2017), and a polka-dotted dress in jungle green (A Welsh Romance 2017).

Betrayal 2, 1964Betrayal 2, 1964

And speaking of fashion, there is an opportunity to hear Molly Parkin reminisce about her years working in fashion at a talk later this month. Molly Parkin is a legendary raconteur, who could speak about the most mundane subject and hold an audience in the palm of her hand, but to hear her speak about her years working with Barbara Hulanicki at Biba, and her years as Fashion Editor of Nova, the Sunday Times and Harpers & Queen is an opportunity not to be missed.

by Rachel McCormack

All images courtesy of Molly Parkin

The Molly Parkin Life In Colour Exhibition runs until September 28 at 508 Kings Road Gallery, Chelsea, London SW10 0LD
Tel: 0203 719 3109

Part 2 Talk (Fashion)  September 22, 6.30 – 9.30pm. Booking is required.



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