A Case of Postdiluvian Tristesse: The Encounters in Sam Branton’s Deluge
‘Neither culture nor its destruction is erotic; it is the seam between them’
There is a strange poem by Andrew Marvell about a nymph and her pet fawn. Written in the mid seventeenth century, ‘A Nymph Complaining to Her Fawn’ is a poem of three parts, revolving around a central act that recounts the intimacies of their relationship. This intimacy is physical in that it is rooted in the senses – glimpsed at through heady descriptions of the nymph suckling the fawn with milk-dipped fingers, and the fawn feeding on roses ‘until its lips e’en seem to bleed’, pressing the bloody pulp onto the nymph’s lips in a bright red kiss. This is the story of an inter-species relationship that is tender and erotic and odd without being straightforwardly sexual or pornographic, suffused with a libido that Matthew Augustine has described as ‘tactile…rather than genital’. In other words, arousal is a creature of many eyes and ears and fingers and holes, and a discussion of the erotic should not be limited to genitalia. Continue reading “”
Over the last few months, The Art Circus has been collaborating with artist Sam Branton to produce our first artist portfolio book published under the Art Circus imprint. Artist’s Books deeply involve the artist in the process; from concept to artwork and layout – and in some cases the printing. They are usually published in small editions or created as a one-of-a-kind object and are often seen as a work of art in itself.
The book, titled Deluge, comprises a sequence of 19 miniature drawings which imagine the bizarre, comical and confused moments that could happen during the aftermath of a great downpour. We see newly paired and mystified inhabitants set against idyllic, pastoral landscapes – a whale hanging from a tree, waiting for his weight to break the branch; elsewhere, a horse, awkwardly struggles to escape from an inflated pufferfish; savage peacocks tearing apart an octopus; and a baby elephant struggling to carry a beached whale back to the water.
Deluge is available as a hardback from Blackwells Art Shop and YouCaxton Publications.
Take a look inside
Continue reading “Deluge by Sam Branton
An Art Circus Book”
The Art Circus is very pleased to announce our first print show of 2015 at the Bear Steps Gallery in Shrewsbury. Featuring a collection of Contemporary Artist’s Giclee prints from the Art Circus’ Print Gallery . Artists on show will include Ryan Humphrey, SuperfutreKid, Fipsi Seilern, Sam Branton, Marta Suuster, Christopher Gee, KEELERTORNERO, Georgia Peskett, Daisy Clark and Phaedra Peer. There will also be a parallel exhibition of Self-Published books. Continue reading “The Art Circus at the Bear Steps”
Gee’s paintings are rich with midnight creatures, mysterious figures, a melancholic atmosphere and scenes of the cosmos. The works plays with a loose motif of subtle observations, moments and arcane happenings, giving the viewer clues and suggestions to create their own little dark tales. Find our more about the work with our Q&A with the artist. Continue reading “New Work by Christopher Gee”
The Art Circus is very pleased to announce our second curated group show, ‘Replica’ on show at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford. Featuring a collection of Contemporary Artist’s Giclee prints from the Art Circus’ Print Gallery . Artists on show will include Ryan Humphrey, SuperfutreKid, Fipsi Seilern, Sam Branton, Marta Suuster, Christopher Gee, KEELERTORNERO, Georgia Peskett, Daisy Clark and Phaedra Peer. Continue reading “‘Replica’
An Art Circus Curated Show
At Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford”
Claire Partington’s elegant and witty ceramics, ‘Goldilocks’ (shown top) and ‘Catfishing’ (lidded vases), will be on show at the Young Masters Art Prize 2014. Claire’s ceramics, inspired by European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600’s, are meticulously hand crafted and use traditional ceramic techniques. Her figurative pieces, based on the salt glazed “bartmann” figurative bottles and court mantua dresses of the 1700’s, feature charming interchangeable heads to create curious little stories around her characters. Find out more about Claire’s ceramics in our Q&A.
The Young Masters Art Prize was set up In 2009, by gallerist Cynthia Corbett and celebrates artists who pay homage to the skill and traditions of the past and draw inspiration from the Old Masters. Artists are selected for their appropriation of an element of the established art-historical canon; either through technique, imagery or subject, whilst establishing an undeniably contemporary spin.
Young Masters is on show at The Lloyds Club from 16th September 2014 – 5th December 2014 and Sphinx Fine Art 14th October 2014 – 31st October 2014.
My paintings are essentially representational but I also want them to take the viewer further. I want the paintings to present more than an image of a familiar place or object but also to take you to a time you once knew or feel reminded of. I like the paintings to create a narrative. They are all about man made structures and mans interaction with them but I remove all human representations to allow the viewer to find their own narrative.
This is the East arm of the entrance to Whitby harbour (featured above) I have a particular soft spot for this painting as I live just down the road from Whitby. It was also important to paint it at this time because its sister pier (west pier) had had its connecting bridge closed and the council were not planning to repair it. This would have meant that both piers would be completely unaccessable. Fortunately there was a successful local campaign and it was repaired. This painting therefore emphasises the lonely detached nature of the East pier with its boney remnants of what once linked it to the land. It now looks as though it might bob off into the North sea. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
Lynne Wixon’s Architecture on the Beach”
Here are some gallery shots of The Last Man exhibition at the James Freeman Gallery, along with some photos of the opening night. We had a great evening and would like to thank James Freeman, the artists involved and to everyone who came down. The show is on until the 2nd August 2014, so a few more weeks to check it out. Continue reading “Art Circus Show
‘The Last Man’ Views From The Gallery”
Illustrator Ben May has just released his first book titled ‘Behind the Mask’, which brings together a collection of beautifully drawn masks from the movies, from the very recognizable and iconic to the more obscure and cult films. The book is presented as a game, with the reader guessing the character and their movie.. But as well as a great guessing game, ‘Behind the Mask’ shows us how a well designed mask can make the character, as well as the film, intrigue us, stick in our minds and sometimes haunt us. Take a look and put you film knowledge to the test.
Continue reading “‘Behind the Mask’ by Ben May”
Neither solely abstract nor representational, the paintings I make could best be described as “figurative abstracts”. I aim to create paintings whose brush-strokes teeter between signalling some form of human activity or celestial body and dissolving into arbitrary painterliness. This concern also informs my actual painting process. I usually start off with a specific image in mind which then inevitably gets lost beneath layers of loose, intuitive brush-marks. In this way the original pictorial starting point becomes translated into a more personal and abstracted painterly language.
My paintings contain a certain sense of tension as they appear to be both spontaneous and highly considered. The modest size and round shape of the canvases is intended to convey a sense of delicacy and restraint and to give the paintings a jewel like, intimate quality. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
Jaya Mansberger ‘Informal Elements’”