'Since her 2018 MFA show at Goldsmith’s College of Art, Lydia Blakeley has developed a reputation for incisive figurative paintings that provide deadpan depictions of English society. Imagining a fictional idea of "Middle England", a non-specific area that embodies the essence of Britishness, she has divided this solo show into three bodies of work: sportswear, tv chefs and food. Implied here is a 70-year-long history of class struggle and turbulent politics that imbues seemingly innocuous images like Reebok tracksuits, Delia Smith, and salmon en croute. Each tugs at our sense of national identity, difficult to articulate but even more difficult to shed. It can be said that Blakeley's work is undeniably British—a term that with each passing year grows more contested and more fragile. (no booking required).'
Lockdown easing: the best gallery shows to see in London right now.
Kabir Jhala, The Art Newspaper, April 12, 2021