Friday, 14 September 2012


For his second solo exhibition with Poppy Sebire, Paul Housley presents new sculptures and paintings that play with the conventions of portraiture and still life.

The studio acts as a depository for an ever-growing collection of made and found objects, bric-a-brac, books and discarded works. These objects and the physical and mental landscape of the studio itself become an important character in the work. He makes no distinction between the three dimensional and the two dimensional works and often refers to his paintings as objects, seeing their physicality being at least as important as their image qualities.
The recurrent motifs in Housley's work are derived from art historical references and from the objects, both made and found, which sit amongst the detritus of his studio. His appropriation of works by past masters is an act of homage and a challenge, with the artist wilfully playing with the inherent romantic notions of the self-portrait.
Housley instinctively erases and reworks his canvases experimenting and distilling his ideas until he reaches something that he refers to as ‘believable’. The artist recently stated, ‘What I would like to do as a painter is to cleave a face in two and for that face to retain its dignity and integrity’.
14 September – 20 October 2012

Friday, 7 September 2012

Moments Around Us @ Idea Store Whitechapel Library

There is an event at the heart of each of the works, a transformation of the material when colour, line, shape, texture, tone and rhythm intensify in a moment of playfulness or alchemy. Visual and bodily experiences of the world are played out between material and image. Allusions to nature and to surreal forms appear in the residues of paint. Gestures remain open, suggested spaces or figures flutter and pulse in and out of existence, leaving only shards of meaning.

Laura Bygrave, Kate Groobey, Lucy Homer, Wendy McLean,
Iain Sharpe, Michele Tocca, Avis Underwood.
7 - 30 September 2012

Christopher Orr - Cleiking the Deil at Ibid Projects

Christopher Orr’s work embodies uncertainty, mystery and doubt through portraits of people from the recent past and landscapes suspended between reality and illusion.
His new body of work focuses on the figurative where his subjects appear deeply occupied with undefined activities, incongruous with the painting’s background. Characters, scenes and objects are lifted from the artist’s collection of science and history magazines, its pages serving as a free association of material from the natural world to folklore. The title of the show, Cleiking the Deil (catching the devil by his leg), references a parish tradition in Scotland revolving around the story of St Ronan, who is traditionally depicted with his crook attacking Satan, dispelling evil from our midst.
Christopher Orr's recent paintings are confident in their execution and in part he references a Romanticist ideal. Yet here some of the scenes feel different, man seems to be more isolated and detached. Instead of idealized historical events or allegories we find representations of rather unadorned men and women from everyday life who seem to be removed from reality, engrossed in some sort of obscure undertaking or ruled by something indiscernible.
The canvases of Christopher Orr depict landscapes populated by figures from a past time. Oscillating between figuration and abstraction, landscape backgrounds are in some instances rendered through matrix-like checkerboards, foreshadowing the real. Earthy palettes of colour build up the compositions that in some places have been scraped off to reveal the bare canvas beneath. Combining often ordinary source materials to produce extraordinary juxtapositions, Orr creates a painterly vision that is entirely his own.
25 August - 29 September 2012