Lisa Adams’s paintings are rich imaginary constructions, full of theatrical devices and props, which are essential to the dramatic finale.

The level of Adams’s preparation is forensic. The delicate application of oil paint, using the finest of brushes, is akin to the attention to detail and careful exhumation required of an archaeologist. One of her recent works, Dig, 2011, comments on the duty of the painter, as well as the necessity for the artist to delve into history and autobiography and metaphorically unearth skeletons.

For Inquisition, 2016, Adams found a dead bird and documented its splayed, feathered wings to later depict, with anatomical precision, the dissection of an angel in a hospital operating theatre. Such scenes are unsettling, yet transporting. Adams’s paintings rupture the relationship between the outdoors and indoors, the familiar and the uncanny, and between nature and the supernatural. Hers is a world of reversals which disorient and disempower rational logic.

Leigh Robb