D Contemporary in collaboration with Changing Room gallery
14th June – 2nd July
PV: 24th June
Amanda Seibaek, Bruno Diaz, Purdey Williams, Rowan Bazley, Ruby Kuye-Kline
D Contemporary is pleased to present ‘Unbaked Bread’, a group exhibition in collaboration with Changing Room Gallery. The exhibition brings together a group of five artists who met in Glasgow school of Art presenting artworks that examine the human figure and its manifestations in the uncertainty of today’s world.
A group show including paintings, drawings and prints showcasing intuitive approaches to mark-making. After three years working alongside one another, the artists have created a language that investigates space and the meaning of the figure as a way to navigate ourselves in today’s uncertainty. Amanda Seibaek uses weather and pathetic fallacy to root her paintings. Purdey Williams is a romantic storyteller who collages historical painting with references to literature and the memory of landscape. Bruno Diaz derails preconceived notions of the cartoon with his expressive and deeply felt paintings. Ruby Kuye-Kline works across multiple disciplines to form a shadow world, filled with charmed interrogations which her whimsical, fictitious characters bring to life. Rowan Bazley seems to question everything in his provisional paintings. His work holds an energy which could almost destroy itself.
‘We have come to understand ourselves through how our practices relate to one another, as portals for thinking about issues and ideas beyond ourselves.’
My practice centres on themes inspired by scientific explanations of natural phenomena. This I use as a tool to describe turmoil in contemporary life though a more poetic lens. The theme can be used as a force to ask questions, to stretch facts into fiction, and to visualise inner emotions. I am inspired by Maggie Nelson’s autotheorical works, connecting multiple fields of knowledge, never deeming any irrelevant for her explorations. Materially, I connect the mediums of painting and print. I see colours in layers and with colours I shape my figures. When connecting print and paint I try to develop a language where print is not locked, but rather freed by the brush as a playful tool to make sense of something intuitive. My images exist in 3 mediums; digital, paint and print. The mediums inspire each other. The screen’s reflectiveness inspires the choice of canvas and the layers in print. The imprint of the prints on the canvas orchestrates the compositions on the final painting which I conduct with my brush. Through this material investigation, I analyse the close relationship between emotion and motion to create images which provoke a response in my spectators.
Painting is enticing because of its autonomy, it demands of us to sit and take time in order to dream. I make my passage through it like chapters and the characters cut out in a Pollock Theatre. My practice is a solace where I can meditate on an idea. The idea is often vague; torn from literature, conversation or a recurring observation. For a while I have thought that to paint is to cast away the substance for the shadow. It is how I feel when I draw, the spectator casting my eye over scenes my body has travelled, imagined or real. The shadow is the only visual certainty we have of our presence. It is our relationship with the land and with the light that sustains it. I work from my impressions, from the props I gather and the faces I love.
My paintings are borne out of a strange tension between immediacy and time. Prolonged periods of visual gathering are muted by easily accessible images. Pictorial space is imagined and reconfigured in helter-skelter. A conscious desire for a graphic immediacy is at its core, but further viewing is rewarded with an exploration of what it means to paint. A mood of lost-in-space, lost in painting unifies the diversity of my imagery. So far, hounds rule these visions, dirty and warm, the scruffy rhythm that anyone who has walked a city street before dawn will feel keenly. Cartoon folly exists only as an afterthought. It’s about creating a sense of experience, or a feeling of being somewhere, akin to a dogs’ familiarity to a scent. Recently, my practice has been engaged with the subject of image retention. When we draw something with enough conviction, the air surrounding the outline comes to life. My work aims to challenge our understanding of not only what can be seen, but also something of the invisible qualities of a place. It is the erasure that is sometimes of most importance.
Can you see my disguise? Most of my imagery stems from art history, antiquities, found images, popular culture and meme references. Often using recurrent motifs and characters which mutate and morph, adding layers to my own personal mythology. The experiences which I carry with me often subconsciously feed into my work when in my most receptive state in the studio, although I am not making direct portrayals of situations that have happened to me, I find making art is a way of processing circumstances affecting me currently or from past experiences. I am becoming more aware of my own uncertainty about my racial heritage and identity which has led to characters peering out of other entities and merging with one another.
My work is being the opposite of an influencer, I am influenced by all the people I see, and by the buildings I spend time in. I like to think of what I do as practicing bad signage. I am interested in millennials, I feel that time moves very differently for them. I think about the certain type of calligraphy and décor they like at their weddings. I am interested in the idea that European settlers have been on a date with the planet and we have both decided that there was no chemistry, no spark, and in future we will be drifting apart. I like to think about style as well, how the vibe shift into decadence and sartorial messiness is indicative of an acceptance that these are the last years of humanity, and whatever comes next will be altogether unknowable. I think trend forecasters hold the secrets to what the end of the world will feel and look likeley.