Annalisa Merrilees’s paintings derive from an interest in the mental limits of the mind and the subsequent physical effects on it when pushed to the max. Her work displays a visible struggle between control and chaos, which derive from her monomaniacal tendencies. Each piece has a set of routines that must be followed and completed in as close to one sitting as possible. The use of a random number generator to allocate colours to the base grid allows her painting to begin its life illogically. By removing herself from this responsibility, it initiates a dialogue and set of problems, which Merrilees then responds to. The random and deliberate actions come together to create a formal balance within her work.
Merrilees believes that painting is a deeply personal experience. The intimacy between herself and the canvas is, for her, a rare moment that she feels is very hard to understand. Her paintings strive to capture the viewer’s attention, and for a moment, give them a glimpse into her frame of mind while making the work. Her art is very much about touch. Her paintings are delicately painted over a long period of time, the work appears, at first, to be mechanically made but, on further investigation, reveals itself to be the product of her careful hand.
Merrilees graduated in Painting from Gray’s School of Art in 2018 and lives and works in Edinburgh.