The Brixton Art Prize Team have now had the opportunity to review all of the wonderful submissions received for our brand new competition. We want to thank each entrant sincerely for the time they took to create and submit work to us this year.
The standard of entries was outstanding, making it extremely challenging to reach the final selection. After much deliberation, we are incredibly excited to announce our shortlisted artists for 2022!
Anthony Achille, United in Grief, Painting (45x55cm), London.
Healing from grief is an uncomfortable process in which I’ve found that you will get worse before you can get better. Grief is the price of love and it is part of the human experience, but we all grieve differently. In BAME communities, there often isn’t the emotional availability, time or support system to be able to grieve properly. We block out these feelings and fill our time with distractions to avoid processing them. Inner conflict makes way for negative external behaviour until you are able to choose courage and seek help and eventually move forward. This painting is about that journey.
Samantha Almon Adeluwoye, Bohemian Women, Painting (100x100cm), London & Copenhagen.
A born and bred Londoner, Almon Adeluwoye’s art is an exploration of human emotions, and those moments that make up the landscape of contemporary life. ‘Bohemian Women’ is part of an ongoing women’s series, decorative in appearance but with an underlying question about the many and the one in humankind.
Alison Aye, Face, Mixed Media (90x90cm), London.
Since 2018, I have recorded each year by sewing 365 faces to four napkins. Each face is cut from that day’s newspaper and hand-stitched using my Nana’s thread. Without fail, the final piece always has the same message: we live in a world of conflict and integration.
Like everyone else, 2020 threw me a curve ball. In my case, my Mam was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in February, and I found myself at her house, 300 miles away, when the first lockdown happened. To cut a long story short, I don’t have a car and was unable to get home. I was there for eighteen months, give or take. The first time I’d seen my husband and kids in six months was at my mother’s funeral. This meant that I couldn’t finish 2020’s faces until the end of 2021. Unable to leave the house to get a newspaper, some of the faces have been replaced by a cross from Mam’s prescription bags. As always, I have recorded each face on Instagram, so that my sources can be credited. You can view them by searching #alisonaye20.
Emma Barrott, Dear N, Painting (51x77cm), London.
‘Dear N’ marked the start of a new project; a true outpouring of feelings. More letters followed to help cope with the past, including ‘Dear You’, a letter to many people in my past at once. This project is not complete, and likely never will be, as there are always more emotions to unravel and come to terms with.
Emma Boittiaux, In Sickness In Love, Photograph (39.5×49.5cm), London.
In this series, the artist works with her partner to explore the impact of chronic illness in the intimacy of their relationship as she is, herself, diagnosed with Endometriosis and Enlhers Danlos Syndrome.
Through this body of work, she created a space and time where he is wearing her pain. With the sculpture representing the wounds of her three surgeries. Before the shoot began, she asked him the following questions: “What does it feel to see her in pain? What does it look like?” His reaction was a role switch, where he started to adopt her behaviours and gestures when the pain hits her. The resulting images represent a moment in time of total immersion from his part in her daily life.
The femininity he explores in those photographs, with the fabric covering his breasts and the curve of his hands allows the viewer to see a part of me in his body language. There is the masculinity that she wants to show, rooted in understanding and wholesomeness where femininity has its place.
Akihiro Boujoh, FOLDS 5, Sculpture (21×29.7cm), London.
In many cases, A4 copy paper finishes its role when the information has been told. A4 papers are folded and bent, then carried and moved to trash. The main role of folding includes sizing down, and settling the information. The process of folding is the ritual to go through the end of the role. In FOLDS, it generates new information – meaning and interpretation – by using the process.
FOLDS brings subtle incongruous feelings to our normal perspective by folding daily landscapes only a little. “Unnatural in natural, natural in unnatural.” FOLDS hooks the ordinary perspective of the viewer by the contradiction I make with folding lines. FOLDS aims to represent how our everyday life and way of seeing can change (or be changed) by tiny triggers.
The folding lines which intervene in the ordinary eyesight encourage viewers to reconsider their perspectives.
Robin Bray-Hurren, Law Quilt, Textile Installation (120x195cm), London.
‘Law Quilt’ was a response to an archive document I read at college, where the author (and founder of the college, Edward James) wrote about homosexuality, morality, and the law. It includes a description of a friend’s experience of police entrapment and a subsequent court case in LA in the late 1950s. One line jumped out at me, ‘from early childhood I was taught the law would be my protector and not my persecutor’.
As a Queer-trans man who grew up under the shadow of Section 28, with the age of consent for gay men being higher than that of heterosexual consent, and currently living through an upsurge in anti-trans campaigning, I felt a connection with this person expressing their disconnect from state protection over 60 years ago. I fear where we are going in the future, that freedoms we’ve gained aren’t equally shared, and aren’t guaranteed to continue unless we fight for shared justice.
This gave me a focus, and I started gathering the different laws used at that time in the USA that were used to persecute LGBTQ people. It wasn’t just sodomy laws, there were laws against cross-dressing, which were used against people of all genders. Written material discussing homosexuality was considered obscene and therefore illegal to send by post. Bars could lose their liquor licences for serving LGBTQ people. Vaguely worded laws against disorderly conduct gave police officers ways to harass LGBTQ people out on the street for no real reason other than their visible existence.
I wanted to create something that could uphold my feelings about this part of my community’s history that a viewer could approach in their own time; in a way that evokes empathy. A quilt felt like the right kind of object, it connected with domesticity and North America, and presents as a surface that appears entirely comforting. The text printed on the fabric is small, and the patches were carefully worked, inviting the viewer to come in close and allow enough time for the quilt’s emotional undertow to break through the surface.
Sally Butcher, Inbound2, Print (40x50cm), Birmingham.
Sally Butcher is an artist, lecturer and researcher based in Birmingham, UK. Her practice engages with feminist discourse on female subjectivity and embodiment across spheres of the domestic, maternal and erotic, explored mostly through the visual languages of drawing, printmaking and photography.
These Collagraphic Monoprints are made from printed gendered coverings, including ‘real’ surfaces such as human hair, mixed with ‘artificial’ ones, including lace, ribbon, hair nets and tights. They intersect with hand drawn elements that are reminiscent of female reproductive anatomy (fallopian tubes, milk ducts and vagina-like parts). These pieces play with notions of the ‘monstrous feminine’, intending to provoke desire and disgust at the unbounded female body, as the supposedly ‘natural’ and ‘social’ conflict. Borders are playfully transgressed as outer feminine coverings are integrated with internal female body parts, permeating between seductive textures, protective layers and visceral embodiment.
Please click on the image to view the film.
Marlowe Campbell is a Fine Art Animation Director focusing on uncomfortable personal truths. She explores traditional fine art mediums in her work and has been awarded for such. As with ‘Ice Ceiling’ (2021) in which she received four awards for – First Kiss Festival, Scout Film Festival, the INDIs Film Festival and a semi-finalist award for the Link International Film Festival.
This film, ‘Seeing you, Seeing me’, is a reflection on the infiltration of white people upon black spaces, and the feelings and resentment represented in this concept. This film was the cathartic result of a period of time in which Marlowe experienced feelings of loneliness, racism and general prejudice. The white liminal spaces reflect white people while the comfort and darkness of the house represents intimacy and solitude. ‘Seeing you, Seeing me’ has now been selected to be shown at several festivals including this exhibition.
Georgia Clemson, The Crook of the Elbow, Mixed Media (48.5×47.3cm), London.
How is a boundary created? What is the law inside your territory? Who is welcome, and what behaviour is unacceptable? In ‘The Crook of the Elbow’, Georgia Clemson explores the layered meaning of the word boundary, drawing a parallel between the borders of a geographical territory, and the invisible boundaries that we create to protect our emotional selves. The boundaries of the body and inner self can be breached, contested, and guarded like the border of a nation, and they have an impact not only on our relationships with other people, but also work, technology, and media. Clemson uses camera-less photography to create an abstract map of the emotional world, out of the negative spaces and shapes taken from a body. The work is accompanied by an audio guide, narrated by an anonymous ‘explorer’. Through their voice we encounter the climate and terrain of a new island they have discovered, and join them as they navigate the line between respectful guest and unwanted interloper.
Marc Cowan, Carbon Copy (fragments I), Giclée Print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag (57.9×34.4cm, 308gsm), London.
Shapes, shades, smells, perceptions, characters. We are all different. Our inherent need to find our corner, to feel comfortable, a place where we fit, often evolves into divisions, the drawing of lines, a defence of opinion, a scorched surface. Break things down further, and we are reassuringly all from the same place, seeking the same thing and made of the same matter. Fragments of a carbon copy.
The charcoal seen was produced at a Surrey collier using wood salvaged from South London’s Ruskin Park. Ground down for use as pigment, it was mixed with concrete to create a series of sculptural bollards on Cambria Road titled ‘Carbon Copy’.
Honesty, value and the questioning of conventions are common threads that run through Marc’s work. His innate curiosity to experiment with ideas, processes and materials result in a tactile-rich aesthetic – the medium for each project almost always determined by the concept. Believing that creativity is intrinsic to us all, he seeks out opportunities to create artistic interventions in the public realm, to break down the barriers often felt within the arts. Previous projects include concrete public sculptures cast from trees that double as abstract signposts, modifying a 3-wheel car to parallel the precarious nature of low-paid work, and an installation of a lifetime’s worth of plastic toothbrushes.
Eva Dixon, Ravine, Mixed Media (51x97cm), London.
Thread, electrical shrink tubing, fabric, wing nuts, bolts and timber on two stretchers.
As a general overview, ideas around conflict and integration are at the crux of my work. I take on the persona of a ‘mad- scientist’, investigating materials and subverting their purpose to fit a need within the work. This takes the form of sheer polyester assemblage stretched over stretcher bars. Within the stretcher bars, I build symbols of things I have seen in construction (such as scaffolding, fire escape ladders, the shapes of drains). The geometric shapes made up of fabric also reference construction. All of these works are made with appropriated materials such as electrical shrink tubing, paracord, construction tarp and recycled wooden pallets. In doing this I am trying to blur the lines between painting, sculpture and craft (and how it is gendered), whilst investigating how the relationship between opacity and transparency can expose the structure and surface as one. This leaves my materials at conflict with one another, just as the ideas around labour and making are seemingly opposing forces. Stable and unstable materials leave the work in a constant tension, offering a site to question the making process and the binaries between labours.
Sarrah El-Bushra, State of Mind, Print (31×35.5cm), London.
Through my artistic practice I explore my experience of being a mixed-race woman, coming from two very different cultures.
Cultural influences come from my Sudanese/British heritage and the time I spent living in the Sudan as a teenager, as well as wider Arab and Middle Eastern influences. Calligraphy and abstract patterns, which are important elements in art from the MENA region, are key elements of my work, which uses calligraphic markings and forms to create patterns and accents.
Using an abstract fusion of English and Arabic calligraphy, much of my work layers text and imagery to represent multi-layered cultural experience and thoughts on identity and belonging.
Claudette Forbes, Poor Cow, Sculpture (6x16cm: per piece in the collection), London.
Price: Three cows – £350 each, Cow on tongue – £400
My work draws on my life experience as a child of Jamaican parents, growing up in inner city Bristol, where I witnessed first hand the race riots in 1980. The branded cow, with its M-logo legs, was inspired by a visit to family in Jamaica where, in Montego Bay, the first McDonald’s had opened. In a neighbouring field stood a solitary cow – appreciating the irony, we shouted at the cow to run for its life. This is the subject of a reggae sound track I composed and recorded to go with the collection. The truth is that the price of a Happy Meal was more than the cost of a nutritious meal in a local diner.
The process of making this collection informed my conceptual development, leading me to think about our consumption of the cow and its environmental impact. The seated cow’s base is modelled directly from a real cow’s tongue, purchased from a butcher in Peckham, London, where I live. I aim to provoke discussion around themes that I increasingly find myself confronted by. Handling a cow’s tongue to make its mould was grotesque to me, a meat eater. This highlights contradictions in our everyday choices. I also want to test interpretations of the present day, whilst producing tangible objects that contain a certain beauty and references a past.
Louis T Fowler, Axcessive Force, Collage (30x40cm), Hove.
Brighton & Hove based artist Louis TF employs art as a tool to reveal parallel worlds that exist side by side – primarily highlighting the past/present, analog/digital clashes that ripple throughout modern western societies. He also addresses our obsessions with the strive for perfection and our strident desires that allow technologies to seemingly enhance our lives, versus the unsung and forgotten – the tangible tangentials – the glorious imperfections of yesteryear.
A nuanced approach to conflict resolution seems to have had its day. The horrible truth is that more than ever, culture clashes and political disagreements are being ‘resolved ’ by either shouting over each other or simply destroying valid opinions outright. Where has patience, tolerance and respect within our hearts and minds gone? ‘Axcessive Force’ is a symbol of the death of everyday diplomacy – a display of the desperation to fulfil one’s own selfish desires. However, the trompe l’oeil illusion that the collage creates is opposed to the initial interpretation of the image. The destructive approach of carrying out what could be a delicate and peaceful process, can, with enough analysis and time, hopefully be observed as a lie and ultimately, as a failure.
Tristan Gittens, The Struggle, Painting (40x50cm), London.
Tristan Gittens (aka TSFG) is a North American Artist living in the United Kingdom and attending Royal College of Art. TSFG holds multiple degrees in medical studies from UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Originally from a family of painters and art liaisons, his life’s focus has been the intersection between art and science.
Tristan’s practice examines factors that lead to a decline in and unravelling of the social fabric of humanity through exploring concepts of empathy and self. The approach is through disciplines such as psychology, sociology, physics, and visual arts, and is dependent on his understanding of cultures and societies, and the components that influence their behaviours. Like the theory of everything in physics, his practice looks for a common set of factors that unify all humans. It is his belief that as we expand the radius of what we define as self, we increase empathy. An increase in empathy leads to an increase in care which will lead to the solution for the current human condition.
Sean Griffin, Saturday Nights with Bill and Bob, Digital (42×59.4cm), Latimer Road, London.
This piece was drawn in a community space, speaking to the conflicts and harmonies of sharing space, the difficulties and joys of finding common ground and the values we share.
Martin Grover, The Destructors, Print (56x76cm), Brixton, London.
Price: £295 with frame; £200 without frame
I based this screen print on a short story by Graham Greene which is set in post-war London. Under the leadership of new boy on the block, the charismatic ‘T’, a local gang of boys are persuaded to break into Old Misery’s house while he is out of town. This house stands alone in a bombed-out street. T’s daring, ambitious vision is to systematically take the house apart internally until all that is left is a fragile facade, a husk of a house. It is a wonderfully dark, funny, and cruel tale. It can be read as an allegory for disaffected, nihilistic youth amid the hopelessness of a post-war world or alternatively it could be viewed as the necessary, calculated, creative destruction and dismantling of archaic institutions.
In this illustration I have attempted to turn the story into a wry take on the Brexit debacle. A brigade of little Englanders being manipulated to sh*t on their own doorstep and smash up their own perfectly good home without having any worthwhile replacement; all under the illusion that they are somehow taking back control of their lives. Oh, the horror! Reasons to be Uncheerful: Parts 1 to 17,410,742…
George Haroun Torode, Flattered Still, Photograph (51x51cm), London.
The central concept underlying my recent practice is to test and challenge the boundaries of what a photographic image actually is. The piece exhibited, “Flattered Still”, is from a body of work that incorporates multiple modification techniques to rework and alter the original image. The work takes slides or negatives as the starting point which then undergo a range of processes as they are painted, heat treated or overlaid with organic materials. The results are scanned to produce high-resolution digital files that allow for large-scale printing.
At first I worked with my own analogue imagery, but as my technique evolved I began to source images from abandoned archives of slides and negatives found in bric-a-brac shops or online. These images, from anonymous creators, take on a new life as I work into them physically. By utilising, or appropriating them, I create new images that contain a trace of the past within. The work sits within the tradition of alternative processes as they strive to push the boundaries of what defines a photographic work, and what constitutes authorship.
Alexander Haywood, Sim City II, Painting (110x130cm), London.
‘Sim City II’ investigates the increasingly pervasive role of technology in our lives. Looking through the lens of a facial recognition CCTV camera, figures wander across the canvas like characters in a video-game, oblivious of this digital omniscience.
The painting addresses the conflicted relationship humans and society have with technology, providing comfort and convenience at the cost of privacy and choice. The dual nature of technology is reflected in its ability to provide more freedom through connectivity and access, but less freedom through its addictiveness and our dependence on it. By highlighting the role of digitalisation and how it can lead to the gamification of society, this painting questions how we should integrate technology into our lives in a way that creates more freedom, inclusivity and creative expression.
Jade Hylton, White Gaze (The Way We See You), Photograph (30x45cm), Brighton.
After the first Brighton Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020, I noticed a lot of photographers and media moguls that were there to document the day were white. It made me question why there wasn’t more Black and People of Colour documenting for the news. It dawned on me, it’s all part of the system that has prevented Black voices from speaking out and given stage to the ‘white saviour’. They not only go down in history for capturing such moments, but also get paid to do so. As a Black woman in the creative industry, I’ve had to work twice as hard to get to where I want to be and be as successful as I hope to be. The struggle lies within the opportunities that are either not offered to me, or I am none-the-wiser about because of the system that myself and my lineage have been forced into.
As I marched and protested for my Brothers and Sisters that were being shot and killed because of the colour of their skin, I was surrounded by white faces gleaming at the great shot they took of the pretty black girl in tears. Shot with a camera that was possibly passed down from a parent, passed down with the knowledge of how to use it, or a camera that was purchased with a bonus that was given to you over the Black colleague that worked twice as hard as you for the same job. You shot it with a camera that gave you opportunities, knowledge, a new door to a new job that you can walk through swiftly because you have white skin. This is the way we see you.
Daniel Ibbotson, Fighting Demons (Atychiphobia), Collage (40x29cm), Carlisle.
This painting represents my internal struggle with confidence whilst working on a site specific piece for this year’s Venice Biennale. The consequences of failure were terrifying, meaning that I had to find a solution and battle through my own self doubt.
Please click on the image to view the film.
My work is an exploration of absurdism with a focus on the human body and the human condition. In philosophy the absurd refers to the conflict between humanity’s tendency to seek meaning in life, or to find a reason for our existence, being met with the silent answer of a meaningless and non-rational universe. What fascinates me about this idea is that humans create this contradiction, therefore causing our own existence to be absurd. This work is an exploration of the absurd state in which humans cause ourselves to exist in, and an attempt to reflect this inner human conflict outward onto the body by manipulating my skin with latex.
Aljohara jeje, pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns, Photograph triptych (180x90cm), Saudi Arabia.
Series /pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns/: a silent story told, a statement, a performance.
The process: To lessen misunderstandings in this sensitive subject, let’s invoke the book of words. For, beyond words’ immediate denotations, they have connotative powers. Performances are with physical movements but also with spoken words, sounds, noise; this in stark contrast with the contemplative silence of a photograph. Interesting to visualise this tension.
Silenced: In general, we women are educated, we learn not to speak our minds. ODO 2.1 ‘A task or operation seen in terms of how successfully it is performed.’ But, if we do speak our minds, it is often classified as ODO 1.2 ‘A display of exaggerated behaviour or a process involving a great deal of unnecessary time and effort; a fuss.’
Silenced twice: For people with vaginas, orgasms commonly come from the clitoris. Female Genital Mutilation: the most severe — infibulation — is the removal of the clitoris and parts of the external genitalia followed by stitching together of what remains. Words are like pearls, rolling formed, developed, and cultivated overtime, treasured, colourful, shiny, lustrous pearls of wisdom.
Pearls, as pure and innocent, symbolising the clitoris, have imaginary value. The value of a word, of a clitoris is what we designate for it. Title:/pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns/, which is the English pronunciation of the word ‘performance’ put in writing, is as intelligible when silence(d).
ODO 2.4 ‘An individual’s use of a language, i.e. what a speaker actually says, including hesitations, false starts, and errors. Often contrasted with competence’. The women of this series are, as women around the world, silenced.
Efrat Merin, Birth of Venus, Painting (155x155cm), London.
I am an artist working across multiple mediums, mainly painting, drawing and filmmaking. My works make use of the mythical to contest dominant power structures. I am especially fascinated by origin myths – ideas of primordial chaos and narratives of separation and becoming. Among the themes I attend to is the performativity of the queer body, the fusion of science and magic, and environmental crisis as an existential state.
Alexandra Moskalenko, Madonna and Child Mum and Kid, Mixed Media Painting (100x125cm), London.
Alexandra Moskalenko was born in Paris, France in 1971 and comes from a family of painters. She has been living in London since 1995. Alexandra Moskalenko’s paintings often depict people from various ethnic origins on colourful vintage fabric, exploring the concept of identity, informed by the artist’s own experience of coming from a multicultural background and living in London. The large, vibrantly coloured canvases become statement pieces for what ‘fitting in’ or belonging may mean, and question how a character can influence an environment and vice versa.
This painting is a take on the traditional ‘Virgin and Child ‘ subject in the Renaissance. At the time, the Virgin Mary was usually portrayed wearing blue to symbolise her holiness. The blue pigment to create the distinctive ultramarine colour was derived from the rock, lapis lazuli, a stone imported from Afghanistan of greater value than gold. This painting demonstrates how love is love, no matter what shape or colour.
Yasmin Noorbakhsh, Unavoidable Collision II, MixedMedia (30x40cm), London.
Yasmin Noorbakhsh (b. Iran) is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. She has studied both in Iran and the U.K. Her practice explores transcultural identity, displacement, and living with the dis-ease of life “in-between”. She examines the notion of veracity with regard to events in human lives and how our understanding of what may really be going on can be obscured beneath layers of mediated perception, personal and cultural projection, and censorship.
Yasmin’s source of inspiration and focus of attention, spotlights history and personal and cultural belief systems, filtered through her experience of post-revolutionary Iran, including the Iran-Iraq war. “I have learned from it all to be mindful in life,” she says. “Most important is how you act and improvise in times of crisis.”
With uncertainty and questioning being the core of her practice, her multifaceted layers and complex surfaces depict the state of being in-between two spaces and finding hope in chaos. Between known and unknown, pleasant and unpleasant and how sometimes the two are interwoven with each other. She borrows elements from Persian traditional art and history and fuses them with elements of contemporary practice, creating a strong sense of friction and collision.
This series of work depicts the artist’s personal experience of movement and change and, in particular, of transcultural movement. It is about people uprooted by choice or by force as they try to create new identities in an unstable and changeable world. Her work tries to examine human connection with place and identity, both as a group and also as individuals. It explores cultural and physical boundaries and confronts themes of isolation or belonging.
Phillip Rhys Olney, I’M NOT A PRAYING MAN, BUT I’LL KNEEL TO THAT, Installation (75x100cm), London.
A free standing chair designed to force and contort its user into a position akin to how my father has had to sit during his 20+ year career at Southampton Container Terminals. My father sits, head between his legs, looking downward, for 12 hr shifts. He undertakes an act of communion with a different type of higher power, one shared with the congregation of an often forgotten workforce.
Amina Pagliari, The cut that always bleeds, Mixed Media (60.96×203.2cm), Loughborough.
‘The cut that always bleeds’ is comprised of multiple layers of oil paint, handmade paper, poly-fila and acrylic texture gel. The layers of oil paint are deliberately thinned to create root-like designs that symbolise heritage and identity. The striking rip across the canvas echoes a release of anger and pain which has been aggressively stitched back up using red thread, mimicking a healing process – encouraging audiences to visualise an open wound. However, as the title states, the wound is not fully healed as seen in the red threads that fall from the wound onto the floor. This symbolic composition is a visual manifestation of generational trauma, as the consequence of colonialism is carried into the present.
Emily Kaye Pettitt, Exit Through the Bridal Shop, Mixed Media (29.7x21cm), Leamington Spa.
In researching the theme of this year’s Brixton Art Prize, I came across a story from the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. In 2012 the camp rehomed thousands of displaced Syrian refugees. Amongst the makeshift homes, aid tents and provision stores, a bridal shop opened up renting beautiful, colourful gowns to prospective brides. Some view the shop as a triumph of commerce in a world of war and suffering, however some suggest a more sinister story of people trafficking and child brides. Within the conflict of war, families in desperation may sell their daughters to men under the guise of marriage. The fates of some of these women aren’t fully understood. Do they settle into a new happy life, or a world of human trafficking, prostitution and modern slavery? This image of the bridal gown, a symbol of love, hope, happiness and prosperity becomes one of abuse, desperation, tragedy and imprisonment. In great conflict, the rules are subverted when life tips upside-down.
Florian Sachisthal, Periphery 1, Mixed Media Installation (180x120cm), London.
Early in his career as an artist and filmmaker, Florian Sachisthal took a side job as editor of gay adult films in Berlin. For two years he was working with explicit and often brutal imagery, assembling disjointed video material to “make it sexy”.
To reframe the experience, Sachisthal recently began working on the art series Periphery. By excavating stills from an old hard drive filled with unused, sexually explicit video outtakes. By focusing on the fringe of the action, the artist plays with the psychology of desire, arousal, and eroticism. Scenes that would ordinarily be hardcore are instead hazy, creating an allure in knowing that the ‘action’ is just out of frame. The origin of the material is still referenced by adding excerpts from actual porn scripts, roll calls and performers’ contracts. The choice of lightboxes as a medium is a purposeful nod towards the source material, alluding to the laptops and computer screens the images originally were viewed on.
Giulia Seri, Untitled, Drawing (50x70cm), Italy.
In biology, autophagy is a survival mechanism, in which the cell eliminates waste and malfunctioning parts of itself. My painting acts as a kind of spell, attempting to do the same with painful memories, those parts of us we can’t make peace with.
Fan Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Digital (30x120cm), Spain.
Price: £580 per giclee print edition, up to 10 available (signed and numbered)
A wild dedication of myself.
To undiscovered waters, undreamed shores.
Betsy Smith, The World Through Their Eyes, Collage (21×29.6cm), Bromley, London.
I made this collage as a way of remembering a young girl of which I only knew for a day. As an ex-police woman, people often ask me about the excitement of cases and interviews of which I had to deal with. I tell them the usual stories of police chases and great arrests, but hold one story very dear to my heart. The story of a young girl who died in front of me. After dealing with the impact of a serious incident like that, I struggled. I felt as though I had no control and no way of helping the girl or the family. All I could do was comfort them after fate took its place. I took some time off of work and eventually left. I had to deal with why something like that happened and what she had done to deserve that. I had PTSD and still struggle with my memory of that day.
I made this collage after having time to process that day and channel my energy into something in memory of her. This collage illustrates a mental portrait of the PTSD I experienced and a reflection of my memory of the girl. It was a way to reflect and embrace my memories of that awful day. The collage itself represents my reflection of the girl and her innocent youth. It shows how her face is in every child I saw and how scarred I was from that experience.
Tiziano Summo, Rectangle, Sculpture (130x55cm), London.
Tiziano Summo is an artist made in Italy and crafted in London with many years of experience in advertising, start-ups, and events. During the pandemic, he has been undertaking his long-life dream of becoming an artist through a long process of self-discovery and self-awareness.
Tiziano’s installations examine the complex relationships between art and science, nature and technology, life and death. He believes that only by combining very different subjects is it possible to create something truly unique. With mortality as the central theme of his work, Tiziano challenges contemporary belief systems, thus exploring the uncertainties at the heart of the human experience. His practice is based on one simple truth: to embrace life truly, you must face death.
This odyssey towards awareness led Tiziano on a therapeutic journey to discover himself and, in turn, invites us to stop, reflect and live. His works have been published in international art magazines such as FOA and shown at The Other Art Fair London and Salone del mobile di Milano.
Harumi Tanaka, Self Portrait As A Doll, Sculpture (12.5x26cm), London.
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, I decided to portray myself as a doll. Through this, I aim to express the dark, isolated cocoon I feel I am trapped in whilst showing a strong determination to fight the illness.
I find this a rare chance to truly express the confused and overall negative feeling that I, among many others, face without an easy way to escape.
The DnA Factory, HIGH HOPES CEASE FIRE LR1, Sculpture (27x47cm), London.
Price: £6,000 for the pair
Presented as a pair, two ‘cakes’ constructed on a wooden frame made from a mix of cast and sculpted resins, paints and glazes. ‘High Hopes and Cease Fire’ are members of a series of ongoing works first generated as far back as 2001. THE DnA FACTORY MRSS started exploring the world of ‘home craft’, as it was then termed, using cake forms as sculptural metaphors for the hidden underbelly of suburban living. The critical nature of many of these works were/are deliberately masked with a candy-coat of livid pink, almost plasticised in appearance.
‘High Hopes and Cease Fire’, created in 2021, follow this same format whilst also employing modified versions of one of the duos signature emblems, Hand Flower Grenade. Completed well before the conflicted world we now find ourselves inhabiting, their message seems all the more potent and pertinent.
THE DnA FACTORY MRSS was established in 1990 by Dallas and Angel (DnA) after graduating Goldsmiths College. The duo have lived in Herne Hill since the late 1980’s and are a Member Of The Royal Society Of Sculptors, Chelsea Arts Club [Ball Design Committee], DACS, Curator Space, Founder Member Of Vout-O-Reenees, Alumni Of Goldsmiths College.
Henri Abraham Univers, London Foxes, Painting (102x76cm), London.
Henri Abraham Univers is a Franco-Burkinabe painter, born in Paris in 1974. Since moving to London in 2010, he currently lives and works between Europe and Western Africa. As a self-taught painter, since early childhood he has been immersed in the artistic sphere: through music, modelling and painting. Henri is an artist whose miscegenation is as much cultural as graphic.
Henri Abraham Univers’s paintings are distinguished by cosmological themes and a selection of repeated elements, with references to love and the oneness of humanity. He believes strongly in numerous mantras, unity and equality. He is equally concerned with fusing Western and African influences.
The artworks of Henri Abraham Univers are held in private collections worldwide.
Please click on the image to view a film of the kinetic sculpture.
‘Mnḗmē’ is an installation/kinetic sculpture which is comprised of a desk, a chair, a book and a glass of milk. While the scene seems commonplace, closer examination reveals that each object is subtly breathing in different rhythms.
In our quest to understand and emotionally survive the incomprehensible reality of the world, we utilise all that is available to us, and project memories, sensations and feelings on inanimate objects. These objects become living monuments to our attempt at coping with the recognition of our temporary existence and the inevitability of loss and death. The past exists outside the realm and beyond the reach of our perception, but some material objects may become the continuation that we crave. This work aims to preserve the present and relive the past while dealing with the deep emotions that are connected to grief and loss. Ultimately, it seeks to breathe life into the lifeless objects, ensuring our eternity.
Steve Wilde, Where We Used To Live, Sculpture (46x33cm), London.
‘Where We Used To Live’ is a three-dimensional piece. I’m not sure you can class it as sculpture, although the breeze block I used [liberated from a local skip] was divided in two with a lot of blood, sweat and blisters, so it was certainly physically made. Once separated, both pieces had some 70’s wallpaper samples that I acquired pasted to them to represent the rubble from destroyed family homes; whether by war or gentrification. The element of the home may only allude to integration, but the resulting rubble from the destruction of the home becomes a weapon to be hurled at opposing forces in times of conflict.
Oscar Wilson, Gymnasium City, Painting (130x170cm), Brixton, London.
There is a spontaneous and performative nature to my work. My studies and upbringing in a metropolis, along with constant visits to galleries, have deeply influenced my artistic practice. I spent many a weekend with my father in the house and out, looking at abstract and more traditional art genres, all of which expanded my creative horizon. I wanted to paint and encapsulate the raw energy of skateboarding and graffiti whilst simultaneously encompassing the calming nature of the action of these practices. In essence, portray the city as one gigantic event.
My work, therefore, has a freedom to it, yet also highlights aspects that are controlled by time: whether that be consciously or subconsciously, or beheld in the environmental influence of the city that surrounds me. These juxtapositions are an element of metropolitan life and draw me to them. I portray this with colour, the use of varying materials and the spatial aspects of my work. The contrast and contradiction, the conflict and tension are themes that influence my work in a vital fashion.
Spontaneity taps into my sense of energy. The exciting yet calming nature of my life influences, such as skateboarding and graffiti, have a place in my work: transcending very personal energy.