"We are drawn to these as objects and artworks, sculptural memory boxes that hold stories of past lives. I think in these days of mass production and mass consumerism we need to think about how we can all slow down and reflect on the past and how we can recycle and reuse objects in new ways. There is a romanticism in this work and some of the old photographs of trees are reminiscent of the Romantic Landscape painters of the 19th Century, like Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand; artists who ventured out of the studio to paint their subjects firsthand. Claire uses old cameras and combines historic photographic processes with digital technology to create images that appear to exist somewhere between imagination and reality.
She uses a variety of old cameras to create these images transformed by the photographic process into new narratives. She doesn’t want to simply record what she sees in front of her but reveal a new story through this transformation. The resulting images have a beautiful painterly feel and the grainy textures and tones give the image a truly unique look. She sometimes just produces photographic prints but in other works she creates story boxes from antique wooden boxes which she sources from auctions and house clearances. In the boxes she creates a beautiful new narrative combining, old book covers, paint, cloth, old maps, newspaper articles and photographs. Looking at these objects we are drawn into the stories that they hold and they stir in us a nostalgia for lives lost and lived. They are a beautiful reminder of the wonder of nature and the world around us. Snapshots of people forever held in that moment in time, drawing us in to their untold stories, lives lived and lives still to live."
"Maria’s abstract works are the perfect antidote to the current climate; colourful, joyous and full of energy. She loves to experiment with pattern, colour and texture and works with a range of abstract techniques - bold gestural brush strokes, linear mark-making or thick impasto layering of the paint to create sumptuous textures. While Maria’s wonderful sense of colour and confident handling of her medium - usually oil or acrylic paint - are a constant throughout. Maria also works on commissions in homes and offices and enjoys the challenge of site-specific projects and working with a given space. If you are looking for a conversation piece that will pack a punch, look no further."
"Looking at Julian Sutherland-Beatson’s exquisite paintings is like peering at the outside world through a window covered in rivulets of rain, or condensation: slightly smeared and distorted but recognisably real and bristling with languorous life. These are paintings full of atmosphere where subdued light and a reduced palette create scenes of brooding intensity.
The majority of Sutherland-Beatson’s pictures depict urban, land- and coast-scapes, specifically of London’s railway stations and red buses, Paris’s boulevards, and the buildings of Los Angeles, Venice, Barcelona, Berlin and Havana juxtaposed with the cars and bustle of street life. There are also acutely-observed vistas of East Sussex, with Eastbourne providing a great mass of architecturally exciting subject-matter and some especially fine paintings of the pier in all its dark and menacing magnificence
To create these mini-worlds, Sutherland-Beatson uses acrylic paint as thinly as watercolour and as thick as butter. Texture is built up using a mixture of abstracted areas of solid colour, careful colourful dabs and smoothed flecks of pigment; paint is also allowed to drip and run across the surface, as if the canvas had been left out in the rain, creating an impressionistic blurring of the subject and intensifying the aesthetic experience. I love his work and cannot commend it highly enough. As each canvas is also modestly sized (and priced!) it’s not unusual for his work to sell immediately so definitely worth taking a look. ."
"Ashley Hutchinson makes really cool graphic linocut prints based on nature. I love the way he embosses the paper itself then prints on top in a range of colours and designs that combines styles from Japanese to retro all blended so well. These are original, fun and clever!"
"The standout artist from the Grad 20 selection has to be Marie Muller Priqueler. Her compositions are at once sensitive and delicate, yet powerful and disconcerting as familiar parts of the body are distorted and concealed. The ambiguities and sensitivities of the subject matter are then amplified by the texture and tones of the hand-made paper. The combination is both arresting and intriguing - definitely an artist to watch."
"Now, I’ll be honest, since the rediscovery of cyanotypes to make images by artists as the new process-of-the-moment I have eyed this movement suspiciously. I say suspiciously as I have seen many cyanotype works being produced that have put the process ahead of the image itself.
But not in Jacek’s case, my little flowers. These works are beautiful and do not rely on the process to give them a presence. These beautiful images are, considered, delicate, nuanced and dare I say powerful. The medium has enhanced rather than masqued the intentions and makes us look at the plants in a new light…(blue in this case). They are portraits that draw you into their shapes, the lines, the translucency and the form of the whole. Your eyes are continually dancing around the image taking in the individual elements of these enigmatic, organic yet mathematical joys of nature to then find yourself refocusing and seeing the image as a whole.
These are the moments where you are taken elsewhere. They are exquisite. Nothing else to say except, take your time and enjoy."
"Stephen Beer looks at art movements of the past and contemporary culture in order to poke fun at, analyse and interrogate what it means to be human and how visual culture shapes our experience. Advertisements, the tropes of modern art and the idea of 'ready to hang' art are taken on by Beer, who creates works that question, as art should."
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Cover image via Claire Newman-Williams