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Art Circus Spotlight
‘Mirror’ by Lucy Parker

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Sometimes things happen when you have been working for a long time on one picture and then you decide for a short break to just try out something else on another quite quickly. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but on those occasions where something does happen, it is quite exciting, even if you are not quite sure about it straight away. That is what happened with this picture. And I think that it maybe could not have come about without having to work longer on another one. Maybe it can, and one can keep perfecting the quick technique, but then the technique becomes too ‘thingified’ in its gesture as opposed to keeping the element that still has a searching quality, so I think I have to do the work in other ones in order to allow for these brief moments now and again that something can happen in a more ‘effortless’ yet still searching way (like day dream on the edges of thought). Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
‘Mirror’ by Lucy Parker”

Christian Rex van Minnen’s ‘Glazed and Confused’

VAN_MINNEN_Christian_2014_HOT_HORROR_ON_THA_DANCE_FLOOR_Oil_Linen_46_x_32in”Rex van Minnen explores the techniques and styles of Old Masters’ oil painting while seeking out opportunities within the traditional layers and glazes of paint to create a confused stratum of form, content and meaning. The end result are paintings that marry opposing forces of harmony and dissonance, beauty and horror, meaning and absurdity.

The works in this exhibit depict grotesque portraits tattooed with a matrix of old and new tattoos, psychedelic patterns draped over mutated and chimeric forms, and hidden drawings embedded within the flowers of a still-life: images that present confusions of truth within the layers of paint; the mask and the face; psychedelia and psychosis; the cancer and the body; cultural inclusivity and assimilation; profundity and the absurd.” (Via)

Continue reading “Christian Rex van Minnen’s ‘Glazed and Confused’”

Mackie’s ‘The Sorting Station’ Selected for John Moores Prize

mackiekMackie’s ‘The Sorting Station’ has been selected for the 2014 John Moores Painting Prize. Mackie took some time out from painting to tell us about the piece.

‘My thought process was unusual here. I spent about a month painting the building exterior. The entire time thinking through the options. Obsessing about different options. Looking at art, reading about it. When I was ready to paint the interior I trusted the subconscious mind, to an extent. And with no drawing, painted in bright pink, the Koon’s dog!’

‘I’m not yet positive of it’s reasoning. The initials of its title “sorting station” are SS linking with the degenerative art of the nazis. It feels like it could be a place of harsh judgement. When the dog was in place I considered my sanity for a while. Decided I needed something black and white but apocalyptic behind it. For aesthetic impact. I looked into Guernica but it was too big (3 meters high). It Irked me as it was perfect, but I like keeping a fairly accurate scale when I add famous works to my scenes. I think it’s an image where I got lucky. I guess there are plenty of ways to read into it.’

Q&A with Irene Godfrey

L0008805Irene Godfrey was born in Co. Durham, near Blanchland, in 1955. She trained at the Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan University (BA Fine Art, 2012). Upon graduation she won awards in both the Owen Rowley Prize and the Annual University Vice Chancellor’s Purchase Prize.

Do you come from a creative family?

My father was a mining engineer. He used his creativity in problem solving.

You hold a Graduate Certificate in Ecology and Environment, how does this influence your painting?

The knowledge gained from my environmental studies has made me more aware of the interconnectedness of all things – the idea that symbiotic relationships between organisms are a primary force in evolution and the maintenance of ecosystems. I try to capture this in my paintings. Continue reading “Q&A with Irene Godfrey”

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Landscape with Trees’ by Jacqueline Jackson


I work in the tradition of artists who explore meaning and memory in the physical or living environment. My intention is to suggest the shapes and textures of different kinds of landscape, thereby creating a mood or emotion that can be freely interpreted by the viewer. Made using diluted acrylic on canvas, this painting is an imagined narrative scene. Rather than replicating what I can see, my work aims to confront the mental imprint or echo of the inner landscape that we all have embedded in our personal and collective memories.

For some, the painting is a fragile, tranquil and poetic reflection but for others it may suggest anxiety and even a post-catastrophic world. My paintings are created to provoke a mood or have a sense of movement as their focus. I paint from memory so each painting has resonances of different places and times I have lived in or visited, rather than from precise photographic references. Many viewers have felt a recognition response to the painting, indicating they find a resonance for them that is important in some way.

I am increasingly interested in how human interactions have, and are, affecting the nature/culture/ecology of place. “Landscape with Trees” has an absence of human activity that may suggest utopian or, in certain circumstances, dystopian dreamscapes of the future. It can also be seen as an expression of the sublime or romantic landscape, which in this case contains an undercurrent of unease. It should suggest ‘to the finite a glint of the infinite’. 1

I painted this work a year ago and in my current practice I am building on this to create projects that are developed through research into the landscape, but which are informed by the history and narrative of a place. As well as this investigation, I am continuing to explore imaginary landscapes in paint, and working with drawings and etchings for an artist’s book.

“Landscape With Trees” (2013) was selected for the Clyde Community Award 2013–14 from my Fine Art degree show at Chelsea College of Art and Design. It is now on exhibition at the Clyde & Co. offices in central London until June 2014. It was sold to private buyers at auction last year.

1 “[Caspar David] Friedrich’s art was one that gave ‘profound meaning to the commonplace, an aura of the mysterious to the ordinary, the distinction of the unknown to what is perfectly familiar and to the finite a glint of the infinite’”. (Introduction, Matthew Hargraves, exhibition catalogue for ‘A Dialogue with Nature’, Courtauld Gallery, March 2014)

See more paintings by Jacqueline Jackson

‘The Wine-Dark Sea, pt 2’
On Show at Mark Powell Bespoke, London



‘Memory is not a storage place but a story we tell ourselves in retrospect. As such, it is made of storytelling materials: embroidery and forgery, perplexity and urgency, revelation and darkness.”

Vermillion Hook, a collective of young London-based artists conclusion to its exhibition ‘The Wine-Dark Sea’, an exploration of memory through portraiture and figurative drawing. The show continues to ask whether a medium as scientifically exacting as photography and the immediate capture of perfect likeness can truly express something as malleable and evocative as human memory.The show brings together work by Eleanor Watson (shown 2nd) Luke Francis Haseler, Sean Rohr, Christian Newell, Luca Indraccoio, Ed Haslam, Milo Hartnoll, Meri Karhu.

‘The Wine Dark Sea pt2’ is on shown from the 11th – 30th April and can be seen at Mark Powell Bespoke, 2 Marshall Street, London, W1F 9BA

‘Diamond Bullet’ at the James Freeman Gallery, London



30th April – 31st May 2014

”The mind is a jungle. Kurtz knew it; most artists do too. Set off in exploration, and very soon you find yourself consumed by the penumbra, scrambling about to find something familiar to cling onto. Trying to get to grips with such an environment is no small task, and in Diamond Bullet we are pleased to bring together three British artists who use their painting to step up to that challenge: Simon Burton, Orlanda Broom (shown top), and Irene Godfrey (shown just above).”

‘Archaeologies’ with The Contemporary London
On Show at the Griffin Gallery, London



23rd April – 25th May 2014

The Contemporary London, in partnership with Griffin Gallery, and curated by Michelle Medjeral-Thomas. brings together new works by Vasilis Avramidis (shown top), Jess Littlewood (shown below), Reginald Aloysius and Susanne Moxhay.

”Archaeologies presents alternative landscapes that invite us into uncanny private new worlds of imagination, fantasy and marked human absence. Both Avramidis and Aloysius create intensely detailed and skillfully delicate lush environments, where architecture is entangled with wild vegetation and the traditional and modern are meshed together. In contrast Littlewood and Moxhay’s post-Apocalyptic isolated spaces confront the viewer with a silent timelessness of cultivated order and the struggle for the ideal. With each of the works the viewer stumbles onto moments where they are forced to question the narratives of what has just happened and what events are yet to take place.

Archaeologies celebrates and interrogates images of opulence, fantasy, the remote, romantic and beautiful, architecture, sci-fi, failed empires, loss, history and transience. Where ‘place’ is usually established by the presence of humanity, these worlds are marked by a footprint of human absence and the reminance of material culture that strives to imbue its identity. These uncanny worlds transport and transcend, creating an imagined window of escapism from which to contemplate the human mark and its histories.”

Griffin Gallery can be found at The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London, W11 4AJ

Lauren Kelly‘s ‘Digesting the Devoured’
Presented by Bosse & Baum in Kings Cross

lauren kelly511th April  – 23rd April 20

Bosse & Baum present ‘Digesting the Devoured’ Lauren Kelly’s biggest solo exhibition to date in a film studio space in Kings Cross, which showcases new site-specific commissions of large-scale sculpture that will expand to fill the space. The winner of The International Women’s Erotic Art Prize 2013 works with sculpture and installation, focusing on investigating the power of fetish. Influenced by Eva Hesse’s and Louise Bourgeois’ interest in bodily forms, Kelly’s work flirts with ideas of fertility and fecundity, while her repetitive forms allude to body parts. Continue reading “Lauren Kelly‘s ‘Digesting the Devoured’
Presented by Bosse & Baum in Kings Cross”

Chiaroscuro Woodcuts at the Royal Academy, London

raThe Royal Academy have brought together 150 of the rarest and most exquisite examples of Chiaroscuro woodcuts works from two of the finest collections in the world. Featuring independent works or work based on the designs of the greatest Renaissance artists such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian. Visitors will be able to see how this pioneering 16th-century printing technique breathed new life into well-known biblical scenes and legends; from Perseus slaying the Medusa to Aeneas Fleeing Troy, and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes.

”Chiaroscuro – literally ‘light-dark’ – describes the effects of contrasting light and shadow in a work of art. You might have heard the term used to describe Renaissance drawing or painting, from masters like Leonardo or Caravaggio. The lesser-known chiaroscuro woodcut was invented in the early sixteenth century when printmakers began use woodblocks and ink to imitate the painterly effects of light and shadow. The method enabled printmakers to create subtle gradations of tone, used to suggest three-dimensional volume and depth.” Continue reading “Chiaroscuro Woodcuts at the Royal Academy, London”