Stiff Upper Lip is an analytical still life painting project that explores complex psychological states such as containment, austerity and isolation. Metaphorical imagery like empty buckets, plastic bottles and parcels are used to suggest interiority where for artist Cally Lotz, the act of painting becomes a psychological safe space for what otherwise cannot be said.
By depicting mundane objects Lotz aims to maintain a detached and remote stance from any given narrative. Instead she allows her attention to dwell on the formal and material aspects of representational painting. The motifs exist only as empty signifiers enabling a deeper and more meaningful investigation into the issue of containment.
Lotz has become aware that still life painting can create a strange presence between what we call reality and what psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan calls ‘the real’. Ordinary objects can be shaped into profound statements on containment and trauma.