Damaris Athene Damaris Athene works across many media, exploring the corporeal and the abstraction of the human form. She takes inspiration from a wide range of sources such as anatomy, microscopic images, derelict buildings and decaying vegetative matter. Recent work is inspired by radiology scans and bruises on human flesh. The beauty in these seemingly abstract images seems at odds with their subject matter, creating a fascinating dichotomy. Athene was shortlisted for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize in Amsterdam in 2014 and was selected for the Clyde and Co Art Award in 2015.
Stuart Bush Stuart Bush’s spatial and abstract work develops out of an investigation into how one might inspire a moment of reflection through encountering painting: how the viewer might even re-consider the experience of space around them. By viewing the world from awkward angles and unfamiliar points of view, Bush creates frames and compositions that contain snapshots of life, a fleeting moment that balances line, shapes and space. Through recording and investigating the public realm and shared experiences, Bush encourages the viewer to consider more than just the picture but rather the alienation, disorientation and fragmentation experienced in the contemporary world.
Kim Cruickshank Kim Cruickshank’s series Sacred Spaces (2017) explores the concept of abjection in relation to the female body in her work, which is designed to produce the uncanny as an experiential outcome. She is interested in the intimacy found in the interspace between the ordinary and the domestic. Found materials and modest processes are integral to her work. She uses the body both as a material and for conceptual inspiration, as she believes that our relationship to our bodies is inherent to discovering who we are as individuals. Cruickshank’s work incorporates women's underwear to explore perceptions of the female body as being unclean and imperfect and the notion of shame. Her work examines the idea of underwear as a textile second skin; a boundary between the body and the world. Materials and processes are combined to transform hidden objects into ones of public display. The absence of the body invites viewers to question notions of identity and explore personal narratives.
Jamie Gray Jamie Gray’s artistic practice is rooted in the spirited conversation between form and process. The abstract representation of natural and fabricated elements are key themes within her work. She layers and balances the most basic elements of form and colour to visually communicate her personal perspective. In her current series of work, she uses polygonal motifs and abstract compositions to communicate actions and mental constructs. She also aims to dismantle preconceptions about materials and processes by integrating the traditional craft techniques of marbleising and gold-gilding in the creation of contemporary art works.
Lottie Jackson-Eeles Resulting from her interaction with urban spaces, Lottie Jackson-Eeles aims to create “other worldly” environments into which the viewer can escape. Through the lineage of suggestive elements, Jackson-Eeles invites viewers to immerse themselves within the framing of a narrative structure, to become involved with and enticed by the visual imagery. She relies heavily on books to negotiate, understand and document London, enabling her to translate it into drawings, using the written form to produce visual imagery which stimulates the imagination.
Susan Keshet Susan Keshet’s drawings and paintings comprise jigsaw-like characters and curious landscapes. There is a surrealist quality to her work, which is carefully staged and somewhat open-ended in meaning. Sometimes enigmatic, at other times witty, her works display a dialogue with earlier art movements such as Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art. Underlying her compositions is a narrative questioning our identity in an increasingly media-driven and technological world. Her current series The Exquisite Corpse, is a play on the traditional parlor game played by the Surrealists in the 1920s and 30s which involved assembling disparate body parts to create strange new characters in fantastical imaginary worlds. Keshet considers parallels with the creation of self-identity seen across on various media platforms. The task of cherry picking one’s qualities and finest features and piecing them together can create a disjunctive result, akin to the fanciful and fictitious compositions central to the Surrealists.
Heidi Wigmore Heidi Wigmore's practice is drawing-based. She draws for its directness and immediacy, for what she perceives to be its ‘live charge’. The impulse of the work is to challenge, resist and subvert cultural norms of female experience. Her imagery is overtly figurative but dislocated, drawn from life or sublimated via her appropriation of found images. Recent work includes a series of eight large drawings created over eight days while on residency at METAL titled Dummy. The dummy or doll serves as a metaphor for alienation and/or control as a silently compliant yet vital presence. These dolls are lifelike yet lifeless, realistic yet unreal. She plays out various psychological dramas using the dummy as a blank canvas for the subversive imagination to work from. Dynamic, autonomous female figures have always been a prominent feature of Wigmore’s work. She is currently developing a new series in which female strippers and pole-dancers are drawn from life as they perform.