The exhibition considers how contemporary painters approach still life through model making and materiality. Contemporary still life at its most dynamic is always of its own time yet remains connected to a particular tradition of representation that goes back to sixteenth century Northern Europe. What makes this exhibition of contemporary British still life painting distinctive is the light it throws on the unusual ways in which certain painters realize the objects of their still life, either prior to or during the course of painting. For example, constructing models and maquettes or staging the seemingly non-descript provide points of departure for some. For others, it is alchemical processing, prospecting and playing with materiality that throws up the unforeseen and never-seen-before objects of their still lifes. These paintings of unnamable and reconfigured objects, defamiliarized objects in unfamiliar contexts, and objects generated out of the process of painting itself appear to be a particular feature of contemporary British painting of still life. ‘Models and Materialities’ explores a playfulness and unpredictability in a practice that tinkers with conventions and ambiguates tradition with variously absurd, pathetic or melancholic irony. Stuff and things are insufficient here; these paintings are concerned with newly invented objects driven by openness to tradition, playfulness with process, a contemporary world view, and imagination let loose.