Thursday, 13 December 2018

Stuart Pearson Wright I Half Boy

Halfboy, 2016

"Even as The Children Act 1975 gave adopted children the right to their birth records upon maturity, the National Health Service was providing assisted conception services using anonymous donor sperm. Conceived in a South London NHS facility in 1975, artist Stuart Pearson Wright will never have access to his paternal heritage, a loss that has evolved from childhood confusion to the remorse of a father of two young children. Halfboy came about as a result of a chance encounter with a box of childhood photographs, a rare find as most such mementos were lost due to the peripatetic lifestyle imposed by familial circumstances in the 1980s. Reconstructed from photographs and personal memories, Stuart Pearson Wright has imbued the paintings that make up Halfboy with his portraitist’s eye for detail, bringing to life the minutiae of time and place. Humour and pathos jostle for attention in this autobiographical series, which will be supplemented by works made in the aftermath of a personal tragedy that unfolded upon his move to Suffolk".

The Loneliest Boy in the Whole Fucking World, 2017

Whilst in Cambridge I visited Heong gallery where this really interesting and highly personal exhibition by BP Portrait Award winning Pearson Wright is currently showing. The show explores the artists' sense of identity given the circumstances of his conception and upbringing. The resultant paintings are biographical and very narrative, set within a definite time period, resembling the nostalgic illustrations from classic Ladybird books as much as 'fine' art. I can really see the Halfboy series being developed into a children's book and used to enlighten people about the emotional and psychological impacts of assisted conception. Pearson Wright handles paint beautifully. The effects of light and the sculptural folds of clothes are well rendered, and many of the figures appear to have that deathly, greyish, pallor of figures seen in Renaissance paintings which appear to be an influence. The Renaissance influence is also betrayed by the acute perspectives employed in the backgrounds and landscapes, which appear to be rather knowingly naive in contrast to the sophistically painted figures that inhabit them. 

Grant Wood - American Gothic, 1930

Another more concrete influence I detected was in Grant Wood's iconic painting American Gothic, (1930), with it's slightly caricatured figures, and its depiction of vernacular American architecture. All stylistic traits which can be seen in Pearson's work below, albeit steeped in sensibilities which are more typically English.
Stepdad, 2015

Halfboy and Halfsister, 2018

Halfboy and Halfbrother, 2018

Halfboy Vomiting in Debenhams, 2018

Halfboy and Mother, 2017

Kid with a Bleeding Brain, 2018

Kid with a Bleeding Brain (detail), 2018

Up the Downs: A Teenage Tragedy of Erotic Ineptitude, 2018

Nausea, 2017

 Nausea, (detail) 2017

Domestic Scene, 2003

 Second Domestic Scene, 2004

Self-Portrait Brexiting, 2016

 Wheateaters, 2014

Wanderer, 2014

 Martinmas Time, 2014

Half Boy I Stuart Pearson Wright
until 6th February 2019
The Heong Gallery
Downing College
Regent Street

Monday, 10 December 2018

Winter Shows

I have pieces of artwork which will be featured in the Winter Show at Cambridge Contemporary Art. The Winter show runs until 24th December. On the 12th December the gallery will be having a special evening of art viewing, drinks, and cheese tasting with artisanal cheeses provided courtesy of local specialist HUM-CLOSEN (here). Contact the gallery for further information, to secure artwork, or to confirm your attendance at the event.

Whilst closer to home in London Rowley gallery presents - In The Bleak Midwinter - (here), their winter exhibition, an ever evolving mixed show, in which works by gallery artists will be replaced by others as they sell. Again, contact the gallery for further details and availability, or to commission a specific piece.

Cambridge Contemporary Art                                                                  Rowley Gallery
6 Trinity Street                                                                     115 Kensington Church Street
Cambridge                                                                                                            London
CB2 1SU                                                                                                                W8 7LN
Tel: 01223 324222                                                                                Tel: 020 7727 6495                                                 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Brian James Waugh: Butterflies Through Other Eyes #44

The festive season conjures up images of darkened churches illuminated by winter sunshine beaming into historic stained glass windows. Here are some gorgeous examples of the butterfly motif used in modern stained glass by Brian James Waugh of Cobweb Stained Glass studio. The studio produces some amazing designs incorporating techniques such as sand blasting, acid etching, traditional painting on glass, and screenprinting. The above example is entitled Psyche

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Monday, 3 December 2018

Justin Dingwall: Butterflies Through Other Eyes #43

Some extraordinary images taken from Albus, a portfolio of photographs by South African photographer Justin Dingwall that examine the aesthetics and perceptions of beauty through the condition of albinism.