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'Rego returns to her roots' , Robin Holder , The Royal Gazette

Arts and Entertainment July 20th , 2001 / By Robin Holder
Rego Returns to her roots

Lisa-Anne Rego's exhibition, entitled '32.18N 65.00W …a new view of home' and currently showing at the Bermuda Society of Arts, pays tribute to the vitality of island life. The Bermudian artist's portraits of children and compositions of deserted streets exude warmth and beauty.The images evoke a sense of hop and promise and it is clear that Bermuda has left an indelible impression on Ms Rego, who has lived overseas for years.A product of the Glasgow School of Art, Ms Rego has changed her palate to reflect the rich and varied textures of Bermuda. In Glasgow, earth tones were used to render scenes of local life but Bermuda's blue skies and vibrant landscape lend themselves to the exuberant use of colour.

A close examination of how colour is deployed in her paintings reveals many skilful and innovative techniques, used to create a chiaroscuro effect. The children who feature prominently throughout the collection radiate a spiritual happiness. They are rendered in skin tones with a luminescent quality that sparkles with light.
The influence of post-impressionism can be observed in many street scenes and skyscapes. Ms Rego cites Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Edward Hopper as sources of inspiration, but a Fauve influence brings to mind Delacroix's observation that "one never paints violently enough."
The mixture of oils and soft pastels provide an interplay of light and dark. In paintings such as 'Most lovely Shade' and in 'Dismissed,' shadows loom across the canvas, creating a sense of movement and dept of space.

If the impression is gained that the works on display appear photographic in nature, this may stem from her technique of using on-the-spot sketches and indeed, photographs. In 'Burnished' this technique has a magical effect, as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a mere still film frame and a fully-fledged work of the imagination. In 'View of the Southshore,' the landscape is framed to depict an azure sky, with clouds scudding across the horizon, and a house barely visible on the left. "I feel I am at the crest of my work," Ms. Rego says, "I am going to use momentum to continue to develop my work in Bermuda."

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