Category: Front Page

‘The Last Man’
An Art Circus Curated Show
In Collaboration with the James Freeman Gallery

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4th July – 2nd August 2014

Opening Reception:
Thursday 3 July, 6:30 – 8:30

The Art Circus is very pleased to announce our first curated group show in collaboration with the James freeman Gallery. Artists on show will include Vasilis Avramidis, Christopher Gee, Miguel Laino, Hyunjeong Lim, Mackie, Tom Shedden, Eleanor Watson.

Change is one of the few certainties in life. After death and taxes, the only thing we can be sure of is that nothing stays the same. As such, it begs the question: what happens when we’re no longer around?

Taking Mary Shelley’s apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826) as its inspiration, this show explores the mysterious absence of humankind from the spaces they once inhabited. The ecological concerns of Shelley’s novel bring to mind: if mankind disappeared, would the natural world be free to reclaim what belonged to it? Visitors thereby get to take the place of Verney, The Last Man, in becoming the sole observer of an eerie lost world.

Seven painters come together to create this atmospheric exhibition. The unnerving images of Christopher Gee and Miguel Laino create a haunting, ominous presence, as if even before the disappearance there were clues, portents and signs. The paintings of Eleanor Watson and Mackie depict abandoned landscapes and structures like solitary markers, with empty rooms seen through external walls creating a sense of dereliction. In Vasilis Avramidis’s luscious works, green mossy hills emerge in the black of night from a subterraneous realm and morph into arms, fingers and heads. The Bosch-like theme is continued in Hyunjeong Lim’s drawings of twisted landscapes that depict a contemporary Golgotha through a cacophony of comic-book images. It is left to Tom Shedden’s paintings of an Elysian future to suggest a counterbalance of harmony with the new elements. Continue reading “‘The Last Man’
An Art Circus Curated Show
In Collaboration with the James Freeman Gallery”

‘Volkan Aslan: A Day Not Yet Lived’ at Pi Artworks, London

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6th Jun – 5th Jul 2014

A Day Not Yet Lived, is Volkan Aslan’s inaugural solo exhibition at Pi Artwork, London. For the exhibition, Aslan will create an ambitious site-specific installation that will act as an unconventional platform for his well-known broken figurine series. A body of work that deals with subjects that the artist has been interested in exploring since his childhood, and that was first exhibited as part of his solo exhibition at ARTER / Space for art, Istanbul, Turkey.

Driven by nostalgia for his teenage years, the artist regularly sources and collects ceramic ornaments that remind him of the statuettes that where prominent in the homes of the village where he grew up. The artist gives new meaning to these found figures by shattering them, compiling the broken pieces, and then reconstructing them into a series of hybrid configurations. By amalgamating parts from various human and animal statues, Aslan creates nameless characters with jarring characteristics: a roaring lion’s head atop the body of an exotic parakeet or a braying stag atop a slender female flower picker. The artist uses this procedural template of breaking and fixing as the mechanism for the creation of new and unexpected beings.

For A Day Not Yet Lived, the artist has produced creatures that appear to be straight out of folk legends or mythology, yet backstories for these figures do not actually exist. They are brought into existence with no scripted journey and the artist deliberately leaves the viewer to shape their stories and interact with them free from judging eyes and minds.

For more info, please visit Pi Artworks.

‘A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby’ by Kara Walker

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Kara Walker, known for her silhouette drawings and installations, has created her first public art project in the soon to be demolished Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, NY. On entering the crumbing factory, visitors are unexpectedly met with a monumental sugary sphinx, peering down at them, from the dark and becomes a mysterious and powerful tribute to the building and the commodity once created within. The title ‘Subtlety’ means a sugar sculpture made from sugar paste, marzipan, fruits and nuts, which was made to portray as well as to be consumed, by royalty. The grand sugar sphinx is on view until July 6, 2014. (Via)

Sarah Ball’s Damaged Humans
At The Coningsby Callery, London

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27 May – 7 June

The work explores the definition of its own title and asks the viewer to contemplate the crimes or woes of each subject. The term, ‘damage’ can reach an understanding that in fact all humans experience damage and that this pain, woe, experience or ailment can be shown with beauty through facial expression. Ball asks not only to see the subject’s ‘damage’ but to interpret the concept of ‘Damage’ and in some cases let the portraits reflect the suffering or injustice many have endured. Continue reading “Sarah Ball’s Damaged Humans
At The Coningsby Callery, London”

Artist Show
Lucy Atherton’s Norwegian Paintings

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30th May – 30th June 2014

Lucy Atherton has recently arrived back from a 3 month residency at the Nordic arts centre, in Western Norway. During her stay, she created a series of beautiful, atmospheric works, featuring epic rolling landscapes, exposed branches, incandescent dripping skies and poised wildlife. Lucy’s Norwegian paintings will be on show downstairs at Toms Skate Shop, 76 Stoke Newington High Street. Continue reading “Artist Show
Lucy Atherton’s Norwegian Paintings”

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

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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