In Company

August has been a very busy month for me as I have been working on my largest painting to date. ‘In Company’ was commissioned by Conran Partners and D&D London for the Old Bengal Bar in central London. The painting reflects on the history of the warehouse, a nod to its construction by the East India Company. The warehouse was immortalised in a poem by John Masefield that described it as holding ‘the wealth of the world and London’s power.’ The work depicts two officers, without prescribing a specific identity to either, I wanted to evoke a sense of the two cultures. The figures reference C18th portraiture in particular the works of Tilly Kettle. The palette of turquoise, fusia and copper was chosen to contrast the traditional pose of military figures and capture an imagined sense of history and adventure in an exotic land.

Hoxton Art Gallery installing the painting

Wunderkamma Private View

Wunderkamma at Hoxton Art until 12th April.

I am always amazed at how different my paintings look outside of the studio. Seeing the works without the clutter of brushes, pigments, palettes etc is always an eye opening experience, and the curation of this show highlighted that experience. The affordability of open white space at an exhibition is a luxury that most studios cannot afford, and this show created a great sense of space even during the packed private view.
On the top floor an interesting dialogue is created between the figure in ‘Quiet Revolution’ and Matthew Tom’s works, but my highlight has to be the juxtaposition of Richard Stone’s ephemeral sculptures. I have rarely exhibited with sculptors; when it did happen there would be usual (heated) discussion of the painting needing floor space, and the sculpture needing wall space, where neither felt content with what we got! But the balance on both floors worked so well, the sculptures gave the paintings a new platform, they seemed bolder and brighter than I had experienced in the studio. All in all, the curation allowed me to see the works with fresh eyes, an inspiring experince that I can see fuelling a larger more focused body of work.

Photography by Original & The copy

New Painting at North House Gallery

Left: Instillation shot of Window Right: Ernesto discussing a painting from his Bomb series

Here are some images of the show at North House Gallery with Ernesto Canovas. The gallery was based in the ground floor of a Georgian house overlooking the estuary of the River Stour in Manningtree, Essex. The light in the front rooms were stunning, but the best room was the back space filled with relics of ancient printing machines. It was very happy to see my monotypes and paintings on etching plates in there, the curation was simple but really effective, and the anonymous series fit so perfectly on the back wall. Mine and Ernesto’s work were mostly separated apart from ‘Window’ and ‘Halcyon’ which were hung next to his Bomb series. Our works differ greatly but seeing them together I was made aware of their shared qualities, both exploring figuration and abstraction and manipulating the translucency of paint. At the end of the private view, we all enjoyed dinner in the gallery surrounded by my paintings- which was a little surreal.The show is open until end of Feb if you find youself in Essex click here for details.

Ernesto Canovas Bomb paintings
The post show dinner!