Traces Of Us: A Solo show by Toni Cogdell exhibiting at the Shenfield Gallery

21 August - 25 September 2021

Exhibition Statement by Toni Cogdell

Do you know there's no journey? We're arriving and departing all the time

Paul Weller (song: Bowie)


Can we track the shape of a life, the way we move through time and emotion; seasons, cycles and circles like birds chasing the sky, always returning to ourselves.



Moving minds inside moving bodies.


Past, present and future somehow coexisting, happening now, through us, as we navigate our inner and outer worlds, seeking to locate ourselves within the things we love. This chaos of living, the bigger than us ebb and flow of experience, time and the unknown continually rises to meet me.


I let it in.


I paint to remember, I paint to discover, I paint in search of things lost or not yet understood. Pieces of me, pieces of you, who we are from the inside out, moment to moment, in no linear measurement and continuously remade from the sum of our parts. Can our journeys be traced or do they leave no trail other than a tug in the heart, a gentle shift toward something new. Something alchemised.


The works in this exhibition have been on journeys of their own, each hoping to reach a kind of harmony from the clutter of days spent painting, leaning toward something out of reach, looking to find traces of us interconnecting, communing. Through paint on canvas is an action to blend chaos into beauty, the kind of beauty that tilts on the curve of a wing as it swoops into water and then sky; below, above. It's a call to find an opening, a space to breathe, an acceptance of the multitude of landscapes within us and the places in the world we may belong as we arrive and depart.