Friday, 14 November 2014

ZeitgeistArt Projects Open Exhibition

Tonight I am showing with Zeitgeist Art Projects in their third annual ZAP Open exhibition.  My painting 'Lovely Period Style New Build, £380 per week' was amongst 23 artists work which was selected from 547 entries.  I am delighted to be part of this very exciting exhibition.

 Zap Open 2014 has been guest curated by Juan Bolivar, the selectors were Rosalind Davis, Annabel Tilley, Juan Bolivar and Andrew Bick.  

"This exciting new show features a rich array of painting and sculpture that take pride in cocking a 'tongue-in-cheek' snoop at the viewer"

The 23 artists are as follows:
Christian Anstice, Guy Bigland, Benjamin Deakin, Tinsel Edwards, Neill Fuller, Alistair Gordon, Luey Graves, Matthew Hill, Sofia Nathalie Kynigopoulou, Paula MacArthur, Enzo Marra, Jane Morter, James Null, Will Reid, John Richert, Greg Rook, Mark Sadler, Pina Santoro (Ellwood), Paul Smith, Kelly Sweeney, Rob Welch, Joella Wheatley, and Neil Zakiewicz

There is an online catalogue to accompany the exhibition which features essays from the selectors and Lex Thomas.

My painting: 'Lovely Period Style New Build, £380 per week' is from a series of work which explores the issues surrounding the housing crisis in London.  Annabel Tilley describes it as: "The grimmest fairytale miniature which could easily be a depiction of a stage set with a single bed, wash basin, and glaring light bulb".

The show opens tonight 6-8.30pm @
ASC Studios, Bond House, Goodwood Road, New Cross Gate, SE14 6BL

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Moniker Art Fair - 16-19th October

I will be exhibiting with the lovely people from Jealous Gallery at The Moniker Art Fair this weekend.  'The Revolution Starts Here' screenprint will be available in two different colour-ways, neon pink/grey, and yellow/grey - spot them in the pics below!  I'm really excited to be exhibiting alongside some fabulous artists such as Charming Baker, Jess Wilson, Magda Archer and Russell Marshall.

Curating the Contemporary have just publishing a fascinating interview with Jealous Gallery owner Dario Illari, have a read here.

Images below are courtesy of Jealous Gallery:

Monday, 13 October 2014

Admiration and ultimate respect for the Focus E15 mum's - Keep up the fight!

I have been avidly following the story of the Focus E15 families, these amazing brave women have shone a light on the very real issue of the London housing crisis.  

A group of mothers from the Focus E15 hostel were told that they would be rehoused in areas such as Birmingham, Hastings and Manchester, instead of accepting this they reclaimed and occupied an empty block of flats on the Carpenters Estate in Newham.  These flats in Stratford, East London had been left empty for months and months, waiting to be sold to developers to create luxury flats just next to the Olympic Stadium.

It seems completely absurd that so many flats were left empty, in perfect working order, whilst families were told that they would have to leave their friends and local communities to start new lives in places miles away.
This process of gentrification is happening across many boroughs in London, with councils selling off housing to private developers, paving the way for the rich (the minority) and pushing out the poor (the majority).

Thank you Focus E15 - your brave actions show that urgent and radical action IS required, we need more social housing.

In your words: 'Social Housing Not Social Cleansing'

Let's hope that the support for you will keep gathering momentum and the attitudes of the decision makers will start to change.

Pics credits - The Guardian and Focus E15

Focus E15 on twitter - @FocusE15
Focus E15 on facebook -

Aditya Chakrobortty:

Sarah Kwei:

Russell Brand and Focus E15

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Studio revamp

My current studio is one of the best spaces I have ever worked from and I'm very happy there.  

However, like most studios I've rented, there isn't much room to store all of my old work, there were piles of paintings stacked up and leaning against the walls everywhere.  So, myself and my studio partner decided to really revamp the space and create some new storage areas.  

I appreciate that this is not the most riveting blog post I have ever written!  But I am loving my new organised and tidy studio, so I wanted to share some pics:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Revolution Launderette vimeo clip

It's a while back now! But finally here is some footage from The Revolution Launderette at The Art Car Boot Fair in June.  Big thanks to Mark Latimer for creating it for us.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tinsel & Twinkle's 'Revolution Launderette' at The Art Car Boot Fair 2014

This Sunday June 8th, The Art Car Boot Fair returns to East London for it's 11th year.

Described as 'The Art World's most exuberant event' by The Sunday Times Culture magazine in 2013, it is a much loved, fun packed day.

For the second year running Twinkle Troughton and I have been invited to participate, and we are very excited about that indeed!  Last year we staged 'The Bank of Tinsel & Twinkle', and this year we will be launching our brand new 'Revolution Launderette'

If you are interested in finding out more you can follow the Tinsel & Twinkle blog for regular updates on our collaborative projects.


Artists Twinkle Troughton and Tinsel Edwards have joined forces again, this time to create the ‘Revolution Launderette’ for the Art Car Boot Fair 2014. 

Previously having dressed as traffic wardens and given away free art, turned trash to treasure, kidnapped a banker and formed their own bank and currency, this will be the 4th interactive public art stunt for the collaborative duo.

This time they are asking ‘What kind of Revolution do you want?’

Twinkle and Tinsel see Revolution as a kaleidoscopic concept; traditional thoughts will inevitably lead to overthrowing governments and challenging oppressors. But what can Revolution mean to us as individuals?  How about renewal, change, compassion, love and hope, or our personal responsibilities to ourselves and to each other?

In September 2013 Madonna launched her short film ‘Secret Project Revolution’, confronting attacks on Artistic freedom and fighting for human rights.  In October 2013 Russell Brand’s controversial contribution to the New Statesman tackled the subject of Revolution.  There has been ongoing bloodshed since the Arab Spring began in late 2010.  After the Occupy movement started in 2011, it quickly became global.  ‘Revolution’, in many senses of the word, is tangible.

In their trademark style, Tinsel and Twinkle have given their Revolution themed interactive art piece a humorous twist. Dressed as launderette ladies complete with pinnies, rollers and head scarfs, they will invite you into their Revolution Launderette. 

Decked out with old washing machines, washing lines and soap powder boxes, this will be a launderette with a difference.  Expect banners and placards emblazoned with the duo’s own words and Ghandi's Seven Deadly Sins, thought provoking yet simple philosophies indeed fit for a revolution! 

In this playful interpretation of the role of the launderette, Tinsel and Twinkle will invite the audience to participate.  Limited Edition prints will hang from washing lines, and visitors will be asked to collaborate by stamping words onto the prints which sum up what kind of revolution they want to happen, either personally or around the world! 20% of all sales will go to the Art Car Boot Fair chosen charity: Just for Kids Law.

At our 'Revolution Launderette' I will be selling a selection of original oil paintings (more info below) and 'Neon Revolution' the screen print I have just produced with Jealous Gallery.  Twinkle will be selling a new limited edition print of one of her fabulous new paintings, and together we are selling a limited edition collaborative/interactive print.

These original oil paintings are small studies for my housing series: A Campaign for Affordable Homes in London.  Each painting is unique, they will be on sale at The Art Car Boot Fair at a special reduced rate for that day only.

These interior paintings highlight the issues surrounding the current housing crisis in London.  Inspired by real adverts in estate agents windows, the paintings document the rising cost of rent in the capital.  They depict gloomy, dreary interiors juxtaposed with the sales text taken from the adverts, which describes beautiful properties at bargain prices.

We hope to see you at The Art Car Boot!  Please come and visit us at our Revolution Launderette!

All the details are on the website

Thursday, 29 May 2014

'Neon Revolution' - New Screenprint Edition with Jealous Gallery

Today I have been at the Jealous Gallery print studios in Shoreditch, working with all the lovely EXPERT printers there to produce the proofs for my new screen print edition.

'Neon Revolution' has been created for The Art Car Boot Fair 2014 and will be sold at an introductory reduced rate on the day only.  

The Art Car Boot Fair will take place in a car park off Brick Lane on Sunday June 8th, Twinkle Troughton and I will be staging our 'Revolution Launderette' at the event.  You can read more about that on the Tinsel & Twinkle blog here, and I will be writing more about our plans for the Art Car Boot on this blog soon too.

This is the second edition I have produced with Jealous Gallery, a new colour way of a screen print which I created with them for their 'Black, White and Red All Over' exhibition last summer.

The first print print was red and black, traditional revolutionary colours, you can read about it in a previous blog entry here.  However this edition is neon pink and grey, I decided that a contemporary revolution can be in any colour! hence 'Neon Revolution'.

Test swatches to find the perfect neon pink and grey combination

'Neon Revolution' 
2 Colour Limited Edition Screen print
£50 (Art Car Boot price only)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Picasso, some light bulbs and William Morris

After nearly a four month break from the studio I am finally back to work.  Mostly I spent those four months earning some much needed cash! Doing all sorts of jobs, including graphic design work, some sign writing for a local pub and running  A-side B-side Gallery with business partner Catherine Magnani.

Four months is probably the longest break from painting I have ever had, it was hard to be away from my studio but the time away has also given me a new perspective on my work.

My focus this year is developing the Housing series I have been working on since 2012, you can read more about the motivations behind it in a previous blog entry here 

In a nutshell - I am making a series of paintings which highlight the issues surrounding the current housing crisis in London.  Initially inspired by real adverts in estate agents windows, these paintings document the rising cost of rent in the capital, depicting gloomy, dreary interiors juxtaposed with text describing beautiful, value for money properties.  The series is a campaign for affordable rent in London.

This last week in the studio has been about bringing together and exploring the research and ideas I've been mulling over whist I've been away from my painting.  At the moment I am experimenting with lots of different references, themes and ideas to bring in to the compositions, I'm working quickly and producing rough oil sketches on small pieces of primed canvas, with the aim that at some point these studies will lead to some larger scale finished paintings.

Normally I like to have some reasoning behind the colour palette I choose, and for these pieces I am working with shades of blue: cyan, pthalo, ultramarine and prussian blue, with burnt sienna, burnt umber and white, with hints of yellow/orange.  The inspiration behind this is Picasso's Blue Period.  In art history monochromatic use of blue has often symbolized melancholy or hopelessness.  Picasso's paintings from this period often depict poverty, outcast type characters such as prostitutes, beggars and drunks, blindness and loneliness are recurring themes.  He painted these works when he was unrecognized, living in extreme poverty and suffering from depression.

Picasso: 'The Tragedy' 1903

To reflect the subject I am tackling, I do want my paintings to have a sombre, melancholy and gloomy feel, but I also want them to have some optimism!  In the compositions I am looking at how to create a light source which will symbolise hope, either a window or electric lighting.

During a productive tutorial with artist Graham Crowley last November (Via the brilliant Zeitgeist Art Projects) we discussed composition in depth.  When I first started making these paintings I felt that the composition should be true to the actual images I was finding in the estate agent windows, to give the works authenticity, however Graham made some really good suggestions and encouraged me to be more inventive.  We discussed prison cells, bare lightbulbs, rooms which contain sinks, toilets and beds, and the prison cell as a symbol of being contained and trapped.
I started thinking about bare light bulbs as a reference to confinement, isolation, or to poverty.  Usually properties are photographed during periods when there are no tenants occupying them, along with the typical bare mattress which always seems to appear in these images, the lights are often shadeless.  The bare light bulbs do feature in the original estate agents photographs but at the same time, I purposefully want to use them in my compositions to reference the themes and ideas underlying the paintings.

The bare light bulb often appears in art history, it can be found in the paintings of Francis Bacon, Phillip Guston and of course Picasso's Guernica.

 Francis Bacon: 'Portrait of George Dyer talking'

  Francis Bacon: 'Man turning on a light'

 Phillip Guston: 'Lightbulb'

 Phillip Guston: 'The Studio' 1969

Phillip Guston: 'Stationary Figure'

Picasso: 'Guernica'

Recently I have also become interested in the work of contemporary artist Tom de Freston,  all of this research into light bulbs in art led me to his painting.  His work explores and references contemporary political situations and events, but by using multiple layers of visual references to art history his work has a timeless quality.

Tom de Freston

The Jeremy Deller exhibition for the Venice Biennale was recently on display at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, although I knew about William Morris and his work, Jeremy Deller's show re-introduced me to him.  In the words of the William Morris Gallery, he was: 'a radical Victorian designer, craftsman and campaigner'.  

In his lifetime he designed textiles and furniture, launched an interior design business, wrote poetry, launched a publishing business and designed books.  Born into a rich family and the owner of a successful business he was a wealthy man, but he observed the income disparities in Victorian London, and he believed in and fought for equality.  In his later life, Morris became an active Socialist, speaking at rallies, writing essays and lectures, and publishing pamphlets, much of Jeremy Deller's exhibition explores this in a contemporary cultural context. 

I decided to bring in some references to William Morris into my paintings, by interpreting his wallpaper designs on the walls of the interiors.  Morris and his life's work represent fighting for change and for a more equal society, a nod to him in my own paintings is another symbol of hope.  Hoping for improvement to the housing situation in the capital - rental regulations? A cap on the greed of rogue landlords? More social (affordable) housing?  With the disparity between the cost of rent and average salaries continually growing, Londoners are being forced out of boroughs they have lived in for years.  It's a popular topic of conversation and you hear horror stories all the time, for example one of the mums at my sons school has just had her rent increased by £600 per month, paying for her home is now more than she can earn so she is having to move out of the area.

Some painting experiments below.....  I'm really trying to bring in more fluidity, movement and expression into my painting, but it's hard to 'unlearn' old habits.  I love the childlike quality of Phillip Guston's paintings, the simplicity of some of Matisse's work, the brushmarks of the impressionists, and the courage of Cecily Brown's paintings (that's a random selection of artists I like!).  But when it comes to picking up a paintbrush I quickly, with these recent experiments I purposefully used the most rubbish brushes I own, and embraced all of the marks I made, I want these paintings to have a raw and immediate quality.

More updates to come soon!

The text below is an extract from 'The People of the Abyss' written in 1903 by American author and social activist Jack London:

"This ghetto crowding is not through inclination, but compulsion.  Nearly fifty percent of the workers pay from one-fourth to one-half of their earnings for rent.  The average rent in the larger part of the East End is from four to six shillings per week for one room, while skilled mechanics, earning thirty-five shillings per week, are forced to part with fifteen shillings of it for two or three pokey little dens, in which they strive desperately to obtain some semblance of home life.  And rents are going up all the time.  In one street in Stepney the increase in only two years has been from thirteen to eighteen shillings.......while in Whitechapel, two-room houses that recently rented for ten shillings are now costing twenty-one shillings."

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Collaboration with Maison Twenty

Happy 2014!

There were some good highlights to 2013: the joint exhibition with Twinkle Troughton at Galerie Michaela Stock in Vienna, selling some work to a Korean pop star through Maison Twenty at Brown's Menswear near Bond Street, curating the 'Girls Aren't Funny' exhibition at A-side B-side Gallery, being invited to stage The Bank of Tinsel & Twinkle at the Art Car Boot Fair, working with the wonderful artist and writer Graham Crowley to create a catalogue for the Vienna show, working with Street Feast London and running kids art workshops at Dalston Yard, producing a limited edition screen print with Jealous Gallery, taking part in the amazing car park exhibition Big Deal No.5 during Frieze week....  

Now I'm looking forward to 2014, and I'm really excited about my first collaboration of the year - with the Art/T-shirt fashion label Maison Twenty: 'A visionary unit comprising twenty emerging artists/designers from the UK'.  Launched in 2012, Maison Twenty works with artists to create unique Art T-shirts, they produce a new range every season and are now stocked in Harvey Nicol's, Browns and Harrods.

I was delighted when the director of Maison Twenty, artist Dannielle Hodson approached me about collaborating with the label.  With guidance from Danielle, I opted to use the lino cut image I had created for Jealous Gallery earlier in the year, you can read about this piece of work in a previous blog entry here.

The AW14 collection is now up online on the Maison Twenty website, see other T-shirts by Danae Doodles, David bray, Ben Levy, Rosie Emerson, Lewis Bannister, Rikki Nerreter, Rowan Newton, Agnetha Sjogren, Richard Zarzi, Sam Shendi, Darren McPherson, Corrina Eastwood, Mr Four Fingers, Andrew Salgado, Johnny Burt, Anu Samaruutel, Cameron Loeb, Quilla Constance and Toni Gallagher.

The collection was launched during Mens Fashion week at The Hospital Club in London, and I spent an afternoon doing some live printing at the stand.

So it has been an exciting start to 2014, I'm really looking forward to all the different projects I'm planning, but MOST importantly I want to focus on being in the studio painting, developing and researching several bodies of work I've been working on for a while.  Hopefully 2014 will be the year to make BIG progress with my painting, and maybe one day soon some of these projects can be revealed!