The paintings portray the local surroundings of the Aylesbury estate as viewed through the lense of an outsider. Largely working from his previous studios in Somerset and Falmouth, Cox has spent time traveling between the two locations and imbues his work with this sense of distance and detachment from the original subject.
The area is undergoing a vast regeneration scheme that is set to last many years and disrupt many lives, the paintings highlight this displacement and ask the question “is this really necessary?”
Ideas of community and home become lost in the flatness of portrayal, with only a hint of human presence in windows, washing lines or garden spaces. Barricades and walls act as screens in to what was a thriving community of homes.
Cox challenges the limits of representation, how little information is necessary in order to make a coherent image, pictorial space begins to flatten itself.
The tree takes the place of the figure in creating a sense of anticipation and suspense in stage-like compositions.
Tile walls become abstract motifs and reference Suprematism, while brick walls become painterly devices on canvas.
Michael Cox was born in Exeter, UK and lives and works in London, graduating from Falmouth School of Art in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, London and Bluecoat, Liverpool (2016) and Plymouth Contemporary Open, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth (2015).