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An eclectic mix of street, pop, abstract and urban landscape art that celebrates the kaleidoscope of architecture, people, symbols and contrasting energies of our cities. The show includes exciting artworks from Jules Muck, Sandra Roeken, Rosemary Clunie, Roy Osborne, John Clare and Gina Seltzer.
Josee St Amant, Ovais Ashraf, Isabelle Beaubien, Gabriella Blakey, BodAlive, John Clare
Rosemary Clunie, Francis Featherstone, Luanna Flamia, Seema Ghiya, Lara Julian, Olga Kirenko, Sue Maud, Michael Lee, Jamie Francis Measure-Hughes, Lina Kobeissi, Jules Muck,
William Joseph Oxer FRSA, Roy Osborne, Ann Palmer, Parjam Parsi, Joao Pedro, Attia Rashid, Lujain Razouki, Sandra Roeken, Gina Seltzer, Afshana Sharmeen,
Roberto Trementino and JC Trouboul.
City of Darkness and Light
2ND – 7th Nov 2017 at 508 Kings Road Gallery, Chelsea
Josee St Amant
Josée St-Amant is an artist based in Montreal, a remarkable talent who creates art that is filled with emotion, life and memories. She’s a contemporary expressionist artist producing realism work that often displays a classical learning. The main theme of her work is the human being and its duality; the beauty of the body with movements, the beauty of innocence versus its stupidity, its power of creation vs self-destruction. Naked Jazz is a series of portraits through which she wants to express the connection between sophistication of the jazz music with strength and beauty of the female body.
I studied graphic design in Rome, Italy and worked as a book illustrator there, before going on to do graphic design work in Paris. After that, I moved to Edinburgh, where I became a member of the Scottish Craft Centre in 1984, exhibiting painted furniture and objets d’art with pictorial compositions at several galleries including: the Solstice Gallery in Edinburgh, Broughton Gallery near Biggar and the Carnell Exhibition, Kilmarnock in aid of the Red Cross. I then came to Oxford, where I joined the Oxfordshire Craft Guild in 1993. In the mean time, I also joined the Ashmolean Museum as Gallery Lecturer. This allows me to help others appreciate art.
For my painted furniture I use acrylics on wood surfaces which have been thoroughly prepared beforehand. In order to protect and preserve the design, a silky smooth finish of varnish and then wax is applied.
In addition to my painting, I have now introduced a new interest: intaglio, appliqué and inlay using coloured veneers on wood to create a decorative effect. I love the feel of wood when I work. Trees have brought us the first fire, the first wheel, the first house and a surface to paint on. And I like to feel part of this tradition. My graphic design background enhances harmony and symmetry in the designs I create.
BodAlive is a South African artist of many talents. Some of them include: painting, drawing filmmaking and song-writing He’ s also a passionate poet and he likes to combine his poetry with visual art.
Artist about his work: The work is portraiture of the inner workings of my mind focusing mainly on subconscious. I am also interested in the workings of minds that suffer from mental illness such as schizophrenia and psychosis. I use visual metaphors that do not have a distinct translation and I am very open to the audience translating the work from me and telling me what they see. Also there is no up or down or single point to the work, and as a so it can be turned around or flipped. As a result it teases the eye because just as some one starts understanding what they see, if you turn it around, then very thing gets deconstructed.
I start the work with an idea and just flow from there never knowing what it will look like at the end and never feeling that they are complete I just have to let it go, else wise I can continue on the piece for literally years.
John Clare has had an eclectic career. Jazz and psychoanalysis form a backdrop to his work as a painter, both conceptually and aesthetically. As a psychotherapist he has written on Samuel Beckett and is also the author of a book on dreaming and the socio-cultural world (with Ali Zarbafi). In 1974 he founded the legendary jazz and black music shop ‘Honest Jon’s Records’, now the longest running record business in London. His work encompasses notions of the self, memory, desire, mourning and loss. He sees painting as being, like music, an emotional language which cannot be translated into words. Like the dream, it is a potential space in which to explore both inner and outer reality.
Now living on the Welsh borders Clare has a studio with an adjacent gallery showing his own work and that of friends. He has also painted for many years in South West France. In 1984, after working with the sculptor, Michael Werner, he met the eminent painter Basil Beattie who became a friend, influence and mentor. His work in the 90’s with psychoanalysts Christopher Bollas and Jonathan Sklar led to a decision increasingly to write and paint as an adjunct to being a psychotherapist.
On the Boplicity label Clare reissued albums by many jazz musicians including Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Art Pepper and Chet Baker. He also put on live performances in the ‘80’s at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street with American legends such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Slim Gaillard, James Moody, Red Rodney, Art Farmer, Eddie Lockjaw Davis and many others. He now lives and works in Hay on Wye and is a member of the St. Ives Arts Club.
The book on Social Dreaming was reviewed by Christopher Bollas and in the British Journal of Psychotherapy and Opus magazine. It is available from Karnac Books or Amazon or from Tinto House. If you are interested in participating in social dreaming matrix, there is a monthly dreaming workshop at Tinto house in Hay on Wye which is open to all visitors.
Rosemary Clunie is a painter, printmaker and video artist, born in Scotland, but living in Hampstead. In an age saturated with images of violence and dissatisfaction, maybe we need an art which takes us back to the root of our humanity. Rosemary Clunie’s paintings aim to encourage the viewer to travel for a few moments from the ordinary world into a realm of the imagination, to an inner dimension where art lives freely away from the rigid climate of the times, and yet stimulates a fresh interaction with reality. In a unique method of painting, Rosemary Clunie elicits her works from a dialogue between her mood and the material. She teases out strange forms that have something in them of the tension of stories, and combines the pictorial and the abstract with elements of myth compacted into a dance of colours. Her subjects emerge from the paper like suggestive spirits of silk. She has exhibited widely, from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to Keats House in London.
Luanna is a young British Contemporary artist, born in Bedfordshire, living and working in London. Luanna combines acrylic, varnish, ink and enamel on canvas to create scenic abstract paintings . Her work focuses on her time spent as a child in Italy, where she admired the architectural forms of crumbling surfaces, from this she picked up a Mediterranean palette; she references the Italian culture and works from photographs and memory. Luanna names her work 'Nostalgic Paintings'
India-born Seema realized she could dip her brush in colors and say all she could without using words. And, she never looked back…
Just like an artist who believes in life, Seema Ghiya is a genre painter whose works depict those moments of life wherein one feels alone and immersed in one’s thoughts. She loves to paint the people who breathe and feel, and those who love and lose. She chooses the ordinary life of a human being as subject of her paintings.
Seema hails from the Pink city- Jaipur in Rajasthan. She is B.A. Hons in Drawing and Painting. Besides being an amazing artist, she is also a great homemaker and food enthusiast. Her source of encouragement comes from her husband Sunil, a Chartered Account by profession, and their two artistically inclined sons. The quote by Vincent Van Gogh, “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting,” is very close to her heart.
Depicting Indian settings and culture is her passion. Her paintings are pictorial representations of scenes or events from every arena of life like domestic settings and street scenes where she unabatedly uses her imagination with artistic freedom.
Seema is gifted with the show of power from above and paints with boundless expressiveness. She is most absorbed when she is in her professional settings. With her canvas as the screen and brush as the keyboard, she writes her speech endlessly playing with strokes of light and shades. The representation which may be realistic or imagined brings alive the eternal beauty of life.
Her genre of painting spread over portraits, landscapes, seascapes, architecture and figurative works mainly crafted in water colors and soulfully rooted in Indian rituals, beliefs, festivities, and traditions.
She lives art. She dreams art. Her day starts and ends with art. When she is not painting her creative forces remain connected with her soul that palpates only art…
She reaffirms what Alberto Giacometti said, “Object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality with the same intensity.”
Lara Julian is a contemporary painter from Siberia who lives and works in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows in London, Amsterdam, Venice and New York. Her paintings are held in important private collections.
Working with a vivid and layered palette, Lara creates paintings that are delicate, strong, poetic and transformative. Her visually arresting work is self-described as expressionist, oscillating between figuration and abstraction. Each painting is an interior landscape, a highly textured and tactile surface that explores the breadth of human emotion. Inspired by nature, poetry and the cycles of life, Lara’s richly coloured and meditative paintings invite the viewer to reflect on what it means to be alive.
Artist about her work: My work is an exploration of the complex human condition. Employing a diverse range of media, I seek to visualise the journey of life through a delicate balance of abstract and figurative elements. There is a fragility and strength inscribed in each canvas, with gestural brush strokes epitomising the energy and duality of existence.
My work is confessional and intimate, with the process of creation instinctive and cathartic. I want the viewer to go on this journey with me, to connect with the emotional states evoked in each work and to discover truths about themselves.
I was born and permanently live in Moscow, Russia, the city where art is a mixture of Asian and European traditions, classical school and modern art. For more than 10 years I was building successful career in consumers marketing. Watching, studying, analyzing consumers behaviors I started to sketch people I met. I realized that that's the part of my job I enjoyed mostly and decided to make a drastic life turn-around. I entered Surikov Art Academy, the oldest art institute in Moscow. That's the place where the legacy of the classic Russian and avant-garde Soviet painters is preserved and developed. I'm still doing my classical study program developing painting techniques. In my everyday art I enjoy portraying vivid, but common characters of our times, regular people that you meet on Moscow streets or underground. It's a special pleasure for me to dwell on people's psychology, to think of the life stories of the people I draw. I see the unique beauty of the world in the people around me.
Lina Kobeissi is a Dubai-based artist who specializes in fine art. Being of both Lebanese and German decent she has been greatly influenced by these two vastly different cultures. Lina’s passion for the arts started at a very young age. Her curiosity for structures and textures then led her to study Interior Architecture and Design. Influenced by her work and travels, Lina has developed a unique style of painting.
Artist about her work: I love texture, colors and above all moments of release and expression. I would be lying if I said I had a single approach and style to my work - art is too liberating and exciting for that. I have been painting for as long as I can remember, continuously developing my body of work through experimentation, curiosity and pure passion. My life and my experiences are expressed and released into these paintings. Each one a piece of me.
This series began last year when I decided to take a step back and approach art from a more honest and simpler perspective. A sharp contrast from my more explosive, often chaotic, norm.
Phases of life are personal and ever changing, for all individuals. All of us are on a journey, striving to achieve goals or savor moments.
Each “Phase” was created with hues of the same color. This was done to emphasize the depth and diversity of one pure element. The different textures symbolize the unique characteristics of each separate phase, culminating in a precious center. The use of metal sheets gives importance to the center point, creating a richness. It is meant to draw you in and bring focus to the elation that is reaching that final moment.
Sue creates dramatic seascapes using painting and printmaking, (etchings, gum bichromates and cyanotypes) drawing on her sailing experiences to reflect the power and erosion created by the sea. The work tries to create the feeling of ‘being’ and to allow the viewer to experience the elements, strength, terrifying beauty and awesome might of the sea, in conjunction with our own frailty while sailing the oceans. Sue has exhibited in solo shows all over the country winning awards for her work in the Hartlepool Renaissance Exhibition at the Gray Art Galley and the T N Lawrence Award at the International Exhibition, Falmouth in 1999. Her work has also been seen in group shows as far away as Norway and Tokyo.
All my photographs are created on site and in-camera. It is crucial to me that they are not re-worked in any image software. Only adjustments to light, dark and cropping are made on computer afterwards. Each one is made using a technique that contradicts the proper functionality requirements for High Dynamic Range imagery.
According to all official manuals, the camera must remain fixed, preferably on a tripod, and the subject matter stationary to avoid distortion and ghosting. It is the possibilities within these distortions and ghostings which interest me. Rejecting the stillness and introducing chance and performance to the process has allowed me to build a unique art form.
In Sundown at Bank Junction, the movements of people and traffic in the heart of London’s financial district are portrayed as the sun sets, twilight draws in and then dusk takes hold. It is an expressionistic response to a vibrant place over the course of a single evening.
The emphasis for Aberrational Expressionism is on deviating from the prescribed camera functionality to create something uncontrolled and unexpected. Wandering entranced amidst visually rich parts of the globe allowing all weathers and variables to infuse into the photographs. The compelling images created are effectively a glitch, an aberration, a peculiarity of a camera function that are able to inform the viewer some of what is underneath and in front of what we see.
My intention is to create photographs that capture more than a snapshot in time. I seek to describe moments which are created in collusion between myself, camera and subject matter. The result is a series of personal, painterly responses to the world that create a dynamic interplay between abstraction and figuration. I am in constant negotiation between the very precise technology of digital photography, intuition and happenstance to produce an elusive image.
Jamie Francis Measure-Hughes
Jamie is a London-based emerging contemporary artist. Jamie about his work: The forms my work takes alternate between installation, painting and sculpture, however the concerns that underpin the work are relatively consistent. I am interested in fabrication, how best to subvert or challenge ideas of certainty and the notion of suspending belief in something.
Whilst my practice is focused on this ‘veneering’ the counterpoint is the ability to see through the piece, not always in a physical sense. It is the play between suspending belief ‘sacrificing logic and reason in favour of enjoyment’ and knowing that the viewer is being misled that interests me. I approach these themes in an overtly theatrical and inane manner to further explore the ‘absurdity’ of everyday life and our participation in modes of information distribution, what we wish to believe we are seeing/hearing in comparison to what we are actually experiencing.
My current work tends to manifest as large scale forms but more often than not is built up of thin, opaque or translucent materials and layers. Manipulation of scale and material encourage disorientation and confusion which are important when creating my work, both for myself and the viewer.
Roy has sustained interest in all aspects of colour in art and design since studying graphics and fine art at Brighton College of Art. In various ongoing series of paintings he has explored colour contrast, harmony, contour, optical colour mixing, and illusory depth in works that typically integrate figure-ground ambiguity, regular pattern, symmetry, hard versus soft edge, light and shade, and plainness versus texture. A presentation of his theories is included in his ‘Color Influencing Form’ (2004).
He has contributed to over 100 group exhibitions in the UK and abroad (including 6 solo shows) and has work in over 50 private and several public collections. For three decades he was a lecturer in tertiary education, specialising first in printmaking and then colour theory and art history. He has presented some 2,000 lectures at over 200 institutions in the UK, USA, Australia, and elsewhere. In 2003 he became the first recipient of the Turner Medal of the Colour Group (Great Britain). He has written, edited or contributed to 18 books on colour, starting with his innovative ‘Lights and Pigments: Colour Principles for Artists’ (1980).
Ann Palmer is a landscape painter based in Rochester, Kent. She works ‘en plein air’ in oils in Kent and in Touraine in the Loire Valley; her subject matter includes the valleys and coasts of Kent and the vineyards and Chateaux of France.
Ann works quickly, resulting in a freshness which is impressionistic yet creates a clarity of subject and defines the mood of the day.
Ann uses artist quality oils on acrylic primed MDF using both brushwork and palette knife.
“I took up drawing and painting in September 2007 since retiring from the National Health Service where I practised for many years as a General Practitioner and Public Health Consultant. I was still practising Public Health on a part-time basis at the University of Kent and for Medway and Maidstone Councils and have until recently been a Trustee for the Ellenor Lions Hospices; I am now retired.
I enjoyed art as a child but had not done any painting until I joined the Rochester Adult Education beginners Class in 2007/8. In July 2008 I joined a 5 day course in Watercolour led by Roger Gill at Central St. Martins. I have learned through class work, reading and visiting exhibitions. I have taken part in watercolour workshops organised by Francis Iles in Rochester, Norfolk Arts Centre and monthly Master Classes led by Bill Newton. I have attended Life Drawing Classes in Maidstone and Rochester , Master Classes in Hastings with Crawfurd Adamson and have been a member of the Improvers Class in Rochester.
I developed my ability to draw and paint towncapes and perspective with James Willis at the Soane Museum and then I took up oil painting under the guidance of Crawfurd Adamson who teaches life drawing and painting and with Alain Bordier (in France) who taught me to use a palette knife.
I enjoy painting en plein air – local scenes especially landscapes and stormy skies and sea. I draw and paint as often as possible; primarily I paint outside in all weathers taking my inspiration directly from nature, setting up my box easel in the vineyards, alongside the River Cher, or the beach at Whitstable or other Kent locations. I use my visits to Italy especially Venice, and to other parts of France including the Alps Maritime around Aix en Provence, Avignon and Arles. I gather useful reference material, sketching locally in Medway, Bath and the Loire Valley where I spend time in my second home.
I exhibit with Nucleus Arts in the Medway Towns and Maidstone and have recently exhibited in Bluewater with the What If….? Gallery in Dartford, and Gabriel Fine Art in Lambeth. I am a member of the Hesketh Hubbard Life Drawing Society at the Mall Galleries. I am Chairperson of the Rochester and West Kent Art Society with whom I paint and exhibit. I exhibit regularly at the Seaside Brocante in Whitstable and in Chelsea Town Hall with the Parallax Art Fair as well as taking part in the Pintar Rapido competition painting a day in London.” – Ann Palmer.
Parjam is an Iranian contemporary artist who works in various styles. His favourite mediums are oil on canvas and pen and ink on paper.
Artist about his work: “Most of my inspirations come from history, myth and poetry…
I believe that our all our life experiences and what we learn from them (awareness , tragedy , ...) is what makes artists goes to studio every day and to create...
From now on I will try to find an opportunity reaching in depth for concept and context equal . with that hope in my mind making a media
(language) from main media (painting) in very long process , speaks by it self .
Portugese-born and London-based Joao is a highly innovative Senior Graphic Designer and Photographer with fourteen years experience in creating marketing and advertising collateral, editorial design, print, digital media, web design and photography.
My work revolves around the basic term nostalgia. Living half my life in the UK, and as I have shifted to Pakistan, I see myself in a new world created of my own. A world of my memory. A world unrealistic yet made from the realistic. I deconstruct images and then construct them in a new manner, creating a new place, a place of my own. A place that is jumbled up in memory. No-one remembers anything as a whole. Memories come to you in parts and I have looked deeply within this. I create images from my own photography and manipulate them creating a new place. I work in 3D using various materials. My work originates from the word topophilia (love for a place), love for the place where I have spent half my life. It is a form of diaspora, being physically here, I am at times mentally in there. As I experience different places, I incorporate them into my work, showing their atmosphere, surroundings, culture and much more.
Ovais Sharaf – Geoscapes Project
Ovais is a digital artist who aims to capture large cities differently from the traditional cityscape perspective where the artist captures the landscapes he or she sees while standing on the ground. His perspective is above the city, looking down at its roads, blocks and structures from sky.
Artist about his work: I have made an effort to keep all images to scale, retaining the underlying geometry of city roads and blocks. The representations are made to look as an abstract image to a casual viewer or at least at first sight. Yet there is enough evidence in the representation that someone who knows the city well, can recognize the city area depicted in the image.
Highly respected English figurative painter, William Oxer is known primarily for his exquisite – and much sought after – depictions of the female form. A passionate artist driven by traditional ideas of how beauty should be represented, William Oxer’s previous projects include assisting with large-scale designs for interiors in historic houses such as Goodwood House, Buckingham Palace, Petworth House and Hatchlands Park. He lived at the latter for approximately eight months back in 1996, working with restorer and interiors expert, Alec Cobbe. Oxer paints in a romantic and classical style and has also turned his hand to abstracts, landscapes and seascapes. Over the past 25 years, this talented 44-year-old, originally from Dorset, has undertaken regular portrait commissions for private clients and produced artworks for exhibitions and collectors across the globe. Other achievements of note include period decoration and exhibition design in places such as Christie’s and the Building of Bath Museum, also known as The Museum of Bath Architecture.
Sandra Roeken focuses her work on the artistic aspect of photography. For her, a photo must have a soul. She aims for her imagery to prolong the moment, to allow the viewer’s eye to appreciate the image beyond the split second that the natural world would give us. Her pictures are first digitally optimized, then layered with textures and intensively worked out. Each of her photographs is inspired by her own emotions and is therefore always unique, for it represents her in the moment of capture and creation.
She is inspired by John Atkinson Grimshaw and William Turner; Turner's fantastic seascapes and the foggy atmospheric pictures from Grimshaw touch her deeply. As she works at night she can find the peace to create her work. She loves the silence of the night, to be alone with her feelings and lets them flow into her work. Creating art is a balm for her soul.
Gina Seltzer began her career in London where she trained and worked as a sculptural conservator whist studying towards her degree in visual arts.
Her work evolved into mixed media exploring different techniques and materials including acrylics,paper,photos,resin,wax,beads and glitter.
Her portraits typically portray vintage Hollywood icons and are characterised by intense colour against the seductive black and white images. Her work portrays a strong unique yet playful approach on the feminine and modern form...
India-born Afshana has a degree in biotechnology but she has always been interested in the arts. She took up training under AV Illango when she was 13. “Oil has always been my favourite medium to work on. I started with landscapes and seascape paintings. I love its texture. But now, I am happy with experimental art,” she says. Illango recalls how as a school kid, she enthusiastically painted, participated in competitions and won prizes. “Even during her engineering days, while she was pursuing her degree in Biotechnology from Anna University, her interest in the arts never faded,” he says. Her series of work “Visual Sensibilities”, the 18 oil-on-canvas paintings and 10 pen works were inspired by the construction of the Chennai Metro Rail project. She said that although the road diversions due to the constructions irked many people, she was inspired by it. She wanted to immortalise the effort, hoping that future generations would be able to identify the humble origins of the mighty metro.
Growing up between the glorious Italian painter of the Renaissance from his native country and the rebellious graffiti artist of his country of residence, Germany, street art artist Roberto Trementino knew early on not to be afraid of big, white spaces. In truth, they were calling to him like a siren's song and he was seduced by the beauty of art the age of 14 when he held a spray can for the first time. His large-scale “Conceptual Art” is sometimes naïve, surreal, abstract, realistic, or even comic-like – all of it a testament to the impressive range of his professional abilities.
His extraordinary skills make him a very sought-after commissioned artist working with clients to develop the most elaborate concepts. The designs for special campaigns correspond fabulously beautiful to the firm’s corporate identity. The comissioner only has to give him the hint of an idea and then his artistic mind taps into many different Areas of inspiration relying heavily on his instincts and feelings. His specialty is blending his work into the real world and extending what is already there: doors and corners, for example, are treated as if they weren’t an obstacle, but already part of the picture.
His very own artistic work is influenced by but not limited to the art trends of surrealism, literalism, and partly also abstract art. For him, there are no borders, no rules, and he trusts his instincts and relies on his gut. He is a firm believer in learning as a life-long experience.
Roberto Trementino was born in Italy, and now is resident in Dortmund, Germany. His art is strictly Aerosol art, no brushes, 100% spraycan on wall, steel or canvas.
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