Acloque’s paintings draw on historical landscapes and portraits and use source material, from statues and sculptures through to postcards, Tarot and old cigarette cards to paintings, found photographs and auction catalogues. She aims to simultaneously reveal and mask her subjects, which are never truly exposed to us but appear in landscapes that become like portals to other times and places. The titles of these recent paintings refer to a range of painkillers she has needed in order to paint.
Kelly Best’s work is rooted in drawing yet deals with sculptural concerns; often thinking past the constraints of the edge of the paper and drawing directly onto the wall and floor. She explores the activity of looking, how audiences engage with her work and their relationship with space, encouraging close observation as materials and surfaces move in and out of focus.
Her mark making process is an intuitive spatial response to a particular location, here making a new, temporary drawing that will exist only for the duration of the exhibition.
WINNER - 2015
Jack Burton is interested in the capacity of photographic images to convey mood and narrative, and how post-production techniques may bring the photographic form closer to painting. He explores the point where the integrity of the image as a factual record is obviously unstable, but the image is still readable in a conventional sense.
His work is driven by a concern with quality of image, in terms of its composition, colour, mood, and how seductive it is. Some of his images evolve directly from the process of ongoing studio practice, others re-worked from an archive of existing images, while others still are created specifically to illustrate a fully formed idea.
Gordon Dalton¹s paintings have a quiet melancholy that questions their seriousness and intentions. His seemingly offhand approach denies any superficial finesse to reveal a love of awkward imagery, polluted colours and a stuttering, bad grammar.
An anxious contradiction is on show, with the work being self conscious of what it is, its possible failings, yet it revels in a new found simplicity. These are small, quiet paintings that aim emotional punches with their openness and honesty. Dalton¹s work asks the viewer to look longer and harder at what painting is, and why it continues to fascinate.
Enjoying contradictions within painting, Dickon Drury aims to do two things at once, often making humorous looking paintings that also take themselves seriously. He pursues liminal spaces, the thresholds, for example between good and bad; stupidity and intelligence; figuration and motif; sincerity and irony; flatness and depth; sensitivity and crassness; the historic and the contemporary.
He views his practice as somewhere fiction and illusion can run riot whilst being unceasingly anchored to the physical world by the materials with which they are constructed.
Jamie Holman is an artist, musician, writer and filmmaker. His video work, All We Have, is a single shot, real time performance of the subject making the continuous request, “tell me you love me.” The nature of repetition and the essence of the human condition is proposed in the same five words, delivered again and again, each slightly different from the last.
Working in both sculpture and painting, Daniel Sean Kelley is interested in the ways that digital technology has altered human perception and interactions, blurring the boundaries between material and immaterial worlds, rendering the lived world a more malleable and flexible space. His recent paintings seek to position the human being as an object in a blank landscape, attempting and struggling to form connections with other objects and people encountered. They draw influence from the mechanics and functionality of video games, with their protagonists becoming adaptable, puppet-like, displaying algorithmic behaviours.
Working collaboratively under the name McGilvary White, Owain (McGilvary) and Yan (White) make works that span video, sculpture and performance. Using a tongue in cheek sense of humour as well as everyday relatable materials that often have the viewer’s experience in mind, they explore both formal, sculptural concerns and broader cultural and conceptual ones. These range from explorations of scale that are only possible in film, to the recognisable materiality of found objects such as Lego bricks; the cultural place of the wolf-whistle, to the relationship between formal minimalism and casual self-portraiture. They each cite their mothers’ pride in their practice as the clearest statement of their intent.
WINNER - 2015
Paul Merrick combines painting with sculpture and the made with the ready-made. Investigating colour, materiality, and architectural and spatial arrangement in relationship to the history of painting, these works are the result of a sustained interrogation of painting through the found object.
His ‘surrogate’ Colour Field paintings are created from standardised industrial building materials, which are punctuated by collages from magazines. Combining nostalgia for past global reportage with images and motifs of contemporary style and decadence, they aiming to create pictorial iconographies and mythological narratives.
WINNER - 2015
Tom Pitt makes images of things he categorises as somewhere between place and object. He often works on board, scraping back and reworking the image, to inform or be incorporated into a new layer. Through each layer there is a dialogue between the act of painting, the subject and himself, and here black and white stripes are a shorthand way of representing his own painting process. With overlapping, often self-referential ideas and meanings, he uses socks to mock his own boring subject matter and tendency to geometricize, while questioning whether a painting style is something that reveals or is something that one hides behind.
Nina Royle uses observations of landscape as a metaphor to communicate the process of painting. She strives to communicate a sense of the small and subjective, sitting within something and making it vast and objective; a sense of uncontrollable movement and growth; a tension between fragility and strength. These recent works are painted on gesso covered wooden tablets, which taper at their edges, to make pillow-like forms. Their physical form aims to suggest a relationship with landscape beyond the purely visual, to encompass the haptic, touch-based experience one might find in a landscape by collecting a smooth pebble, for example.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE WINNER - 2015
Ruaidhri Ryan’s practice is concerned with the construction of images and the influence this has on memory and desire.
With experience of working within multiple roles in film production, his own relationship with the image is extreme, fluctuating between poetic love and critical contempt. His work lies somewhere between these territories and ultimately functions as an endeavour to exhibit truth and authenticity in an image-saturated environment.
By discussing images technically, theoretically, philosophically and historically, he aims to dismantle the ‘image’ in a variety of different ways.
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD WINNER - 2015
Mimei Thompson’s paintings display a preoccupation with the everyday made strange, radiant, or poetic. Her choice of subject matter contains metaphors for particular states of mind or psychological exploration and often represents the humble and overlooked. Her paint marks function descriptively, but their physicality, both as paint and as trace of gesture, remains dominant. The world depicted in her paintings has a sense of fluidity, and a commonality, where everything is made of the same substance. There is a feeling that matter, while temporarily taking on certain forms, could be transient and capable of morphing into something else.
Josephine Wood’s paintings explore ideas relating to consumerism and poverty. She is interested in low budget shops and pound stores, the compulsion to buy and how big shopping malls have taken on a Mecca-like status. Referencing her own photographs of products and shoppers, as well as stills from 1970s zombie and cannibal movies, she aims to capture something of the incongruity and weirdness she finds in these places. Her playful and ambiguous canvases use these abstract and nonsensical associations and the process of mark making to integrate her subject into the painting as if by proxy.