About the Book
The artist Cynthia Poole is interested in the forms, surfaces, and signage of everyday things in their normal contexts. She prefers objects which are plain and functional, with forms which are not disfigured by decoration: type objects, in fact: for example, that quotidian white china stacking cup found in hotels and cafes, a cup whose form and purpose is so obvious it may represent all other cups. The food products depicted - a tin of beans, a bottle of vinegar - are mass-market consumer items, recognisable to everyone. She seeks out brands which are familiar, contemporary, and iconic. She likes to place the objects in a painting in an apparently informal way, but with underlying geometries coaxed from the material wherever possible. And she also likes to arrange them in a modern way: noting that, thanks to the camera, we are overwhelmed by images and multiple representations. Thus some of her paintings are triptychs or quadripartite, and so the information content of each scène is increased. Domestic objects are richly informative about their pictorially absent owners. The pyrex jug is a good example of one of her speaking objects: much more than a container for liquid, the markings imply some strenuous culinary activity, the shape indicates lifting and pouring, and the logo shows it to be a mass-produced, commercial item. Its transparency is also informative and transformative on objects behind, refracting their substance. In some of her paintings, the narrative possibilities of such objects are extended towards allegory. The book includes paintings of road cones, and views of London buses. These are common and opposite sights in her London, and together they describe very well, and quite literally the movement and crowdedness of urban life; they are rich in textual information, and brilliant in colour; uplifting and exhilarating.