The two young female artists share an ability to transform the everyday, from a half-nibbled creme caramel to a pair of ever-so-slightly terrifying boobs, into beguiling broken narratives that challenge notions of sexuality and domesticity.

Sofia Stevi, Just Like Honey, 2017 © the artist. Courtesy The Breeder, Athens
Sofia Stevi, Just Like Honey, 2017 © the artist. Courtesy The Breeder, Athens

Have you ever imagined you might be falling down the rabbit hole, where nothing is quite as it seems? While their paintings are formally quite different, both Maria Farrar and Sofia Stevi’s work trades in transforming what’s usually comforting into something far less so. The painters share an ability to create work that’s beguiling, and which teases the viewer with a glimpse of a story that’s up to them to piece together.

Why is that creme caramel only half nibbled at, you might wonder, when viewing a particular work by Philippines-born Farrar? Or of Stevi’s, you might ask: Quite how do boobs become so terrifying and sinister? Should I laugh, or should I cry?

Stevi, who was born in Athens, creates paintings that sit in the ether between “living and dreaming”, conflating space and time in imagery that confounds the usual laws of gravity and the things we traditionally expect of sexuality or domesticity. Farrar, meanwhile, takes familiar elements from the everyday and transforms them anew, rendering situations that seem fleeting—moments that are gone, but far from forgotten—as though an entire narrative is just out of reach.