Research artists part 5

Charles Avery [1]

I discovered this artist earlier this year when I saw his drawing at the Usher Gallery. I was taken by the good drawing and also that the figure had some odd features like seeing the leg through the coat and the background wellington superimposed on the foreground one. He has an imaginary world of the ‘Islanders’ inspired by his time on the island of Mull.

He has a world of imaginary creatures, where pickled eggs enslaves the eaters to the island and local hawkers sell pictures of nude women for the price of ‘peace of mind’.

What appeals to me about his work, is that this imaginary world allows him to look at his native Mull with fresh eyes. His excellent draught-man ship is a further appealing factor. That’s something that made me struggle with Tracey Emin’s drawings somewhat.

What I don’t like? He draws and sculpts but there are no paintings, which is my favourite medium. It would be nice to see more colour in his work, but it is obvious his devotion is to drawing.

How it could influence me?

Looking at the perspective of my own environment in a different way; through being small like an ant maybe. I have been trying to look at things I normally pass by which is a start!

George Shaw

This artist appeals greatly because I was able to admire his skill at his ‘back to nature’ exhibition from his residency at the National Gallery [3]. Having now tried Humbrol paints myself, my admiration increases with this tricky medium. It’s gloopy stuff that tries to spread and do its own thing and dries quickly. I really liked his subject matter too because he clearly did his own thing despite taking influences from some of the paintings in the National Gallery. He looked at woods, and thought of things that people do there secretly like urinating [pretty sure he’s done a back view of himself there], leftover porn pictures[which are quite graphic] and general rubbish – a tent, cans, an old mattress [4].

What I liked?

His technical expertise with Humbrol paint and his fresh look at a woodland setting.

What I disliked?

It would be great to see what he does with different paint too, but like Avery he has settled into what suits his own voice.

Lisa Wilkens [5]

I like the range of subjects of this artist, from masks to cooling towers and the way they are presented as small in a large frame.

I like her titles too. Without it the print above would not make as much sense, but with it I can see this is the artist herself, presenting an unconventional selfie. The clothes look formal and hair neat, and its a great view that she has swivelled round like she’s sending us to Coventry!

What I don’t like?

Would be great to see some colour too, amongst the monochrome.

Shani Rhys James

I first came across this artist on the BBC program ‘What do artists do all day’ and learnt how a lot of influence is from her immigration to the UK from Australia with her mother. Then I was reading in the 16th issue of Turps Banana magazine with her in conversation with Iwan Bala. She comments how she works in hourly bursts, making an image then pushing it around until shes satisfied with it, which clearly came across in the BBC program. She says she knocks things back until an image may or may not emerge – a sentiment I remember Maggi Hambling saying she creates by also.

I like the painterly and expressive style of her painting. What I don’t like? From the work I’ve seen, the themes seem quite similar?

Jo Persona 

I can’t find much on the internet about this artist, but I saw some paintings made with household paint in Turps banana issue 16 and really liked them. The support is lining paper, so it feels unpretentious. They all use a square support. Theres surprising colours – like green on an arm and a face of yellow, red, blue and purple – like the colours we would normally mix up to make flesh shades have been used mainly as their primary colours.

Mika Kato [6]

My tutor recommended I look at the work of this artist as I painted the Japanese perfume dolls during exercise 4.2.

This artist makes her own dolls heads to paint, out of clay – which makes it a truly unique painting. The close cropping of the head draws in the viewer I think. I admire the hyper real painting, which adds to a dreaming sort of quality in an idealised face. It makes for an odd painting. It gives me an idea of making something out of clay and painting it, which would be something new for me to try in the future.




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