The exhibition focuses on the physical act of painting with ideas drawn from the documentary ‘A life lived’ by Michael Blackwood, about the artist Phillip Guston. The film emphasizes the importance of painting as a medium that can document the most significant cultural and political moments of our time. ‘Painting Made Me Do It' is a celebration of work, both abstract and figurative, that reflects the actions and truth of the world today and our daily lives. The paintings are suggestive of a figure or space and they invite the viewer to explore the unique environments employed during their creative process. Reconstruction and spontaneity serve as the common denominator in a show that is centred on human interaction.
Hannah Bays examines human drives and the construction of meaning in our lives, focusing on desire – both as motivational force and something also open to manipulation. Bays’ practice investigates the transformative effects of colour with a keen interest in its cultural and political associations. Colour is used to seduce and enliven in equal measure. Bays’ work has a Pop lineage yet is insistent also on spontaneous painterly gesture, or ‘affirmation’. There is a push and pull between the abstract and figurative, the symbolic and the purely formal. Bays graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2015, was awarded a Jerwood Purchase Prize in 2014 and the Agnes Ethel Mackay travel award in 2015.
Asger Harbou Gjerdevik’s work explores the ‘in between’. Nothing is static; nothing is fixed, like walking in the land of nomads where the voyage is the important – not the destination. The journey is a reoccurring theme in his practice, both as a subject and in the process. For Asger, painting is about freedom and sampling where elements from all areas can enter his paintings. The imagery he uses is a personal image-trope – elements reoccur and get transfigured, change their shape or colour and become something else. The influences that have contributed to his style of image making range from Julian Schnabel to Robert Crumb or from cave paintings to sci-fi films. Asger studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and recently showed at Tom Christoffersen Gallery, Copenhagen and Slade School of Art Show London, 2015.
George Little uses the metaphorical platform of the restaurant as a mechanism to investigate his painting. The theme reflects his personal history of growing up in and around kitchens in London’s Soho. His paintings are figurative, abstract and patterned with crowded facades whilst being both decorative and modernist, with a shadow of Matisse. The works often collage based in production are suggestive of a scrapbook rather than the lived in experience. This is furthered by the often smeared surfaces, as though staining has occurred from under the workbench, either of the kitchen or the studio. Little graduated from the Royal College of Art and has held eight solo shows including; Deweer Gallery, Ana Cristea Gallery, and Bosse & Baum. He has also exhibited at the New Order 2, Saatchi Gallery London, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA and Liverpool Biennial. Little’s work will be shown at Art Brussels April 2016.
Jessie Makinson's recent works interplay contemporary ideas of femininity and cultural appropriation. Through references to the fashion industry she considers the reciprocal relationship between fashion, art and cultural assimilation. Drawing from pop culture, film, pattern design, and historical painting, she makes multi-figure paintings of women. These prop-like women disrupt values and play with the many contradictions of contemporary feminism through non-linear narratives. Makinson studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and Royal Drawing School and has mostly recently shown in ‘Turps Goes West’ at Edel Assanti and ‘Concrete Fictions’ at New Art Projects in London. Jessie is currently participating in the Turps Banana Painting Programme.