Over the past few years, both Assembly House studio holders have held joint exhibitions of their work, sharing an interest in gender, motifs and the playful act of painting.
Newell layers, combines, and reworks his paintings to create textured images that are thick with energetic gestures and vivid focus points. He has previously explored Greek statues and mythology as a means to explore maleness, and his paintings and drawings continue to feature vessels, tables and busts. Rufus is also concerned about the process of painting, often-employing oil bars and thick chalk pastels to build up and exaggerate the surface of a painting.
Spowage creates bold and expressive paintings that question our voyeuristic nature. With a focus on the female form or animals, Spowage takes inspiration from fashion advertising, Japanese comics and theatre design. Her works reference the painterly ease, speed and economical mark-making that is required for the production of stage props.
With sensual curves and pointy prehensile, there is no mistaking her transformative style which morphs between painting and scenery. Spowage’s colour palette shifts with daring combinations, as does the subject of the imagery, generally incomplete without a spoken or gestural motif.
Both Newell and Spowage have completed residencies in Thailand and Cyprus where their styles have been heavily influenced by nature and ancient art forms. There is no scale too large or small that Newell or Spowage cannot execute without a tongue in cheek comment to make.
‘Their process of making is shaped by their separate styles. Recycled and reused by one another, sculptures become bold, colourful assemblages where the craft of the artist’s hand is present.’ - Yorkshire Sculpture International
Curated by Yasmine Rix
Yasmine Rix is a freelance curator working between Cambridge and London. She works with emerging artists, having previously curated Ground Zero Earth in 2019 with the likes of Bob Bicknell Knight, David Lisser, Olivia Domingos, Jillian Mayer and Daniel Kelly. She is a Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, looking at representation of the future and communication of current and potential catastrophe in art.
This exhibition is hosted in partnership with Harlesden High Street
The exhibition takes place on the 1st floor of 14-16 Betterton Street
Please be aware that access may be restricted for wheelchair users
Opening hours to be confirmed or by appointment.