Written on the skin is a self-curated group exhibition project by three emerging London-based artists. Taking as its point of departure the idea that the human body – with all the fragility, resilience and multiplicity of the flesh – is a site for expression and exploration; the exhibition introduces practices which variously explore notions of safety, difference, innocence and emotional exposé. The project brings together artworks across a range of media – including painting, sculpture, installation and text: these practices are in places complimentary but simultaneously distinct. Softly painted figurative renderings and autobiographical texts exploring queer sentimentalities contrast both installation works whimsically assembled using the detritus of domestic life, and figurative sculptures in the classical tradition which unpick traditional notions of perfection.
When considered together these works, in places visually complimentary yet occasionally oppositional in approach, sketch out a delicate and malleable narrative concerning the ideologies of vulnerability, femininity, sentimentality and feelings of minority and disassociation. These are expressive artists committed to translating their bodily and emotional experiences and for whom their concerns are, emotionally and metaphorically, written on the skin. Their texts – as paintings, sculptures, installations or writings - aim to further our imaginings of the internal architecture of the human condition.
HELENA COLLINS is interested in the artist’s body as muse. She works primarily with sculpture as a medium for the tentative and material exploration of form and context related to the physical and psychological vulnerabilities of the human body. For Collins breakages, slippages, separations and medicines represent a re-evaluation of traditional notions of the human form as represented in traditional canons of representation. She sees the act of sculpting as a ‘physical working through’ of her emotions.
ALEXANDRA LINFOOT is interested in the heightening of the domestic space through the constructs of Fine Art. Linfoot takes items, objects and materials which are commonplace and traditionally overlooked in domestic settings and elevates these through the act of assemblage, dismantling and redirecting traditional associations. In her sculptures, where peripheral elements usually orbit a singular ‘main event’, the everyday household object becomes a site for contemplation and reflection on the aesthetics of personal experience, femininity and the sanctity of the spaces we reserve for ‘home’.
JAMIE SHAW treats art practice as a realm of personal expression related to contemporary lived experience, believing that the personal is political. He works with intention to create intimate, sentimental musings concerned with expressing desire, longing, and failures in dreaming. His paintings and texts examine the discrepancies between sexuality and innocence, and examine the interstices between consumption and desire; marginality and complicity; kitsch and sublime. He counts life, difference, and innocence amongst his main inspirations. Shaw aims to create poetic encounters of a vision informed both by the minority queer experience and myths of the artist as ‘outsider’. The work expresses uniquely personal struggles in desire and constitutes a failed quest for ‘pink utopia’: He says “I work to create my own personal visual mythology: my gods live on a pink cloud.”
All artists graduated BA (hons) Mixed Media Fine Art from the University of Westminster in 2015.
www.jamieshawart.co.uk | alexandralinfoot.wix.com | hemcart.weebly.com
Islington Arts Factory Exhibition Archive