Beauty Salon examines the very feminine subject of beauty in a visceral and challenging manner. The paintings and sculptures in the exhibition investigate the work that goes into achieving and maintaining the surface of appearance by confronting, critiquing and celebrating the ritual and routine of beauty. Alongside this, the artists foreground and unpick the resulting display of beauty as displayed in fashion, film, art history, advertising and on social media.
An accompanying Beauty Salon zine extends the themes of the exhibition with contributions from Paul Kindersley and Alex Michon alongside writing and visuals from the artists and will be available at the exhibition.
Jennifer Campbell uses paint as a transformative medium, almost like stage make-up, which she says she ‘slathers onto shabby materials’ such as discarded polystyrene or paper pulp. Her work hovers in the space between abstraction and figuration, utilising poppy elements to tell complex contemporary stories. Campbell has had solo shows at Outpost Gallery, Norwich (2018); Marcelle Joseph Projects, London (2015) and Hello Everything Gallery, Bristol (2010). Recent Group exhibitions include: Loose Certainties, Transition Gallery, London; The Conformist, Belmacz Gallery, London; Jeune Creation, Gallery, Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris. She was selected for the 2015 Catlin Guide and was winner of the 2013 The Barbican Arts Group Prize. She completed an MFA at The Slade School of Art in 2014 where she was recipient of a full AHRC scholarship and the Jeremy Cubitt Prize.
Cathy Lomax is interested in the seductive imagery of popular culture and in particular how it is constructed, consumed and related to. Her recent paintings examine femininity and in particular masquerade theory and often feature mirrors and reflected imagery to investigate looking and being looked at. Lomax was an Abbey Painting Fellow at The British School at Rome in 2014 and winner of the 2016 Contemporary British Painting Prize. She is currently researching the role of makeup in the creation of the female film star image for a PhD in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London. Her recent exhibitions include Made in Britain, National Museum, Gdansk, Poland; Painting on Paper, Yantai Library and Art Museum, China; A Gown by Orry-Kelly, Transition Two, London; The Blind Spot, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
Alli Sharma’s gestural paintings transform the overlooked into substantial painterly icons. Taking an ambiguous glance back at her own past, and revealing the emotional investments we make, provide a wide range of subjects for painting including the women of 1950s social realist cinema, domestic ornaments and adornments. A fascination with aspiration and desire informs her work, together with interests in class, taste and identity. Group exhibitions include The Contemporary British Painting Prize 2017, Orleans House, London; Isolation Chamber Vacation, Worthing Museum and Art Gallery; Summer Exhibition 2016, Royal Academy of Arts, London; British Low Culture, Honey Ramka, Bushwick, New York, Elsewhere- Altrove, riss(e), Varese, Italy and John Moores Painting Prize 2014, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.