Category: Front Page

Art Circus’ Best of 2013


With Christmas approaching and 2013 coming to an end we thought would have a look back at some of the shows which caught our eye here at the Art Circus. 2013 was a great year for art, not just in the big galleries and museums but also in the degree shows, the tucked away smaller galleries and the newer satellite art fairs, all showing fresh and exciting artwork.

Lets begin with 1. Claire Partington’s elegant and witty ceramics (shown above) in ‘The Islands Across the Sea’ at the Jame Freeman Gallery. Have a read of Claire’s Q&A for the show. Continue reading “Art Circus’ Best of 2013”

Q&A with Gina Soden


What first drew you to photographing these abandoned places?

My first “encounter” was when I was researching a location for a model photoshoot about four years ago. I was procrastinating and reading the local newspaper which detailed information about a local psychiatric hospital. I was suddenly very curious and couldn’t wait to get there. I went the next day, having no idea of what to expect and I was immediately hooked. Sneaking in, I walked down long corridors, seeing the main hall where the patients used to be entertained, finding several wards with patients suitcases and clothes and beds (with sheets still on) left behind. I saw a dentist chair with teeth impressions left behind, the hairdressers, pianos, store cupboards, and beautiful architectural spaces and light. I couldn’t get enough, the stories, the textures, the beautiful scenes. I subsequently returned four times that same week, twice for a photoshoot, and twice to satisfy my own curiosity, the place was huge and I wanted to see it all! I will never forget that place, it changed my life forever really. Continue reading “Q&A with Gina Soden”

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Edge of the World’ and ‘Echoes, Rhythms and Deep Flows’
By Dalit Leon


The process of painting overtakes the process of thinking. Spatial figuration leaps over the linearity of reason and encompasses it. A chaos which belongs to the cosmos and patterns of infinite variance, but also contains an essential oneness. It is first a mirror that reflects the dense complexities that inhabit body, mind and soul, and those which surround them; it is then a synthesis and a figuration of some perceivable order, of cause and effect, of tensions and harmonies, of continuity in time and space, of infinite depths and constant transformation.

This body of work first came about as a discovery of a new space; I first found it whilst drawing a space I couldn’t recognize as somewhere I had “visited” before; This drawing sang to me about echoes and a space that is shattered by time. I tend to think of this recent body of work in terms of music- the landscape almost floats in space where light and shadow take on the identity of form, making up a composition of rhythms that reverberate but also diverge and spin out into other dimensions. Light and dark pushed towards the edge of colour tell of the flows of being and becoming, the unfolding narratives of perception and the impossibility of emptiness, stillness or nothingness. Key is the relationship to water, in figuration and imaginative embodiment, its essential presence as a transformative and reflective substance. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
‘Edge of the World’ and ‘Echoes, Rhythms and Deep Flows’
By Dalit Leon”

Miguel Laino’s ”Didier” Winner of the ‘Saatchi Online Showdown: Painted Faces’ at the Griffin Gallery


5th December – 20th December 2013.

Miguel Laino has won a portrait showdown competition on SaatchiOnline, with his striking piece “Didier” (shown above). The painting will be exhibited along with the other 9 finalists at the Griffin Gallery in London. The 30 semi-finalists were selected by Rebecca Wilson, Chief Curator, Saatchi Online and Director, Saatchi Gallery, and Rebecca Pelly-Fry, Director, Griffin Gallery. The 10 finalists, including the winner and runner-up, were chosen by the artist Chantal Joffe. Continue reading “Miguel Laino’s ”Didier” Winner of the ‘Saatchi Online Showdown: Painted Faces’ at the Griffin Gallery”

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Digesting the Devoured’ by Lauren Kelly

lauren kelly5

How did you get the idea for the piece?

I knew that I wanted to make a sculpture that would essentially be a soft force that would supersede a hard structure. I wanted to make something beyond my own body, something unmanageable, to the point of being ridiculous. A ravenous, voluptuous form with an insatiable desire.

Much of my work investigates the power of the fetish, the anthropomorphic and hints at organic and bodily properties. I find that where the work plays with opposites lies the tension and often juxtapose softer materials against harder surfaces, always considering the points of contact where two surfaces touch. Where welded steel structures add a functional rawness and nakedness that heightens the softer cosmetic palette of pinks, ivories, and flesh tones. A kind of dressed and undressed. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
‘Digesting the Devoured’ by Lauren Kelly”

New Paintings by Nigel Cooke


Nigel Cooke’s four new paintings, recently shown at Modern Art, create layered images of atmospheric landscapes with suggestions of architecture, vegetation and abstract shapes, inhabited by ghostly figures and closely painted objects that include books, watches, eyeballs, and decaying fruit. Cooke’s paintings use techniques and motifs that often articulate references to painters and painting’s history. Throughout his work, Cooke depicts an open narrative of intellectual pursuit, creative endeavour, and human folly.

“Our modern illusions of progress and sophistication are destroyed by the humiliations of the creative process generally, and for me the complexities of the painting process specifically” – Nigel Cooke.  Continue reading “New Paintings by Nigel Cooke”

Q&A with James Mortimer


Do you come from a creative family?

Yes. My mother used to be a skilled calligrapher, and my father is a dab hand at painting. Most of my relatives are fairly artistic, one notable being John Hamilton Mortimer, a neoclassical painter who went completely mad and died young. I’ve inherited a drawing of his of King Lear, in which the maniacal Lear is depicted with his enormous windswept beard and huge glaring eyes. I remember being horrified of this drawing when I was a child, and of later loving it. I’m guessing that a love of art is in my blood, though I’ll forgo the madness.

You said you began studying the History of Art at the age of sixteen. The influences are clearly evident in your paintings. Do you feel studying the Art History is an important process for an artist to go through? How do you think it helps with an artist’s practice?

Well, the most important thing is simply to express yourself. But if art is your oxygen, then there’s nothing more interesting than to study the great artists in depth. It’s helpful in that you can examine just how and why mankind has expressed itself over time, and just what dizzying pinnacles of creativity we’re capable of. We can then strive to build on that, and to eventually create even greater works of art. Continue reading “Q&A with James Mortimer”

‘Body Language’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London


20th November 2013 – 16th March 2014

Saatchi’s new exhibition ‘Body Language’ brings together a group of contemporary artists, consisting of twelve painters, two photographers and five sculptors. all who use the human figure in their practice. Artworks of note include (starting from top) Jansson Stegner’s seductive, slender New York cops, Makiko Kudo’s Monet/Manga inspired dreamscapes, Helen Verhoeveno’s lots of people in a room, Michael Cline’s Grosz-esque ‘saints and sinners’, Alexander Tinei’s creepy smiley lady with accordion (shown left) Amy Bessone’s glazed masks (shown right) and Andra Usutra’s squashed mummified jogger with sperms. Continue reading “‘Body Language’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London”

Hyunjeong Lim’s ‘Somewhere’
At the Beers Contemporary’s ‘Contemporary Visions IV’

lim1a‘Somewhere’ (detail) chalk on canvas,160 x 350 cm, 2012

Contemporary Visions IV presents nine international artists (selected from a pool of nearly 1500 applicants), who represent a host of disciplines and perspectives in contemporary art. Even through the artists use unique methods and mediums, they exhibit a desire to question traditional modes of artistic consumption. Here, notions of aesthetics and the politics of looking are always under scrutiny. Many of the works offer reinterpretations of art historical canon, simultaneously venerating and veering away from their antiquated source material. One senses a reverence for historical precedent, as well as a drive to reinvent contemporary ideas of artistic practice. Also of significance are the themes of fantasy and transformation. Through metamorphosis of the human figure (and the spaces it inhabits), these artists challenge preconceived notions of artistic authority, and pave the way for a new understanding of the impact of contemporary art. Continue reading “Hyunjeong Lim’s ‘Somewhere’
At the Beers Contemporary’s ‘Contemporary Visions IV’”

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Remembering the Mountains’ by Ester Svensson


‘Remembering the Mountains’, as the name implies, is about remembering a landscape. Remembering, longing for something which may no longer exist. Much of my work takes personal experiences as a starting point, and so do these pieces. My parents are Swedish, but i grew up in Pakistan. I went to boarding school in Murree, at the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by mountains. In the summers, we often went walking in Northern Pakistan, getting much closer to them – the Himalayan, Karakorum, and Hindu Kush ranges. I left Pakistan when i was 19, and since then i don’t see many mountains. But when i think of my childhood, they are always there. Much has changed since then, of course. The mountains i have in my memory have changed – glaciers melting, new roads, less forest, more houses. Other things have also changed – greater political and societal unrest, drones and terrorism, water shortages and floods, to name a few.


First, i made the mountains in clay, and then made a mould from them. Then we put the moulds in a kiln, and the RCA glass technician Anthony Harris filled them up with molten glass. Since they are big and solid, we had to wait for one and a half weeks until we could take them out of the kiln, and crack open the moulds. I usually work in ceramics, but i made these in cast glass; clay was too solid and physical. Glass seemed more transient, translucent, intangible – like memories.

See more work by Ester Svensson