People These Days - Contemporary Portraiture

30 Aug 2017 – 24 Sep 2017

Murmurations Gallery

East Sussex, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 99, 98
  • Bexhill Train Station - 8 mins walk

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People these days – an exhibition of portraiture and the human form; bringing together award-winning artists Emma Hopkins and Simon Davis to create a collection of work that highlights a contrast between traditional and modern portraiture.


Murmurations Gallery’s successful programme of ‘medium exhibitions’ running thought 2017 present its latest collection of work. The topic of Portraiture and how it’s approached by todays contemporaries. Bringing together artists from the South East and London to create a collection of work that highlights a contrast between traditional and modern portraiture and how works of today are evolving the long-lived practice. Focusing on paint, the summarizing feature between all the works on display is that portraiture is about people and the humanity behind the image. There is always a sitter and an artist.

The exhibition features 2 members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, a Sky arts Portrait of the Year Finalist, a Rhone-Poulenc prize winner and an artist who’s just come back from a residency in Antarctica.

Artists: Steve Fricker, Vikky Furse, Milo Hartnoll, Emma Hopkins, Simon Davis, Arnelda John and Jo Redpath.

Opening on the 30th of August on until the 24th of September with a Private View on the evening of the 29th from 5:30pm till 7:30pm. All are welcome.

Steve Fricker, Illustrator and painter. Awarded the Rhone-Poulenc prize for his illustrations for What Happens When? His work has appeared in many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines as well as private and National collections. Steve studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and on graduating found his work becoming increasingly in demand and regular commissions followed. He worked for 25 years as a political cartoonist and illustrated comment pages by Tony Blair, John Major and Boris Johnson and many others. His conceptual interpretation to editorial briefs is reflected in his narrative paintings.

Vikky Furse has made a number of expeditions to Arctic Greenland travelling with Inuit hunters, and has developed a love of drawing and painting in Polar regions. Vikky takes portrait commissions, and also enjoys painting pictures with a story. She uses acrylic on canvas, and pastels and mixed media to give emphasis to her relaxed, gestural style which in turn perfectly reflects the intimate and friendly relationships she depicts.

Milo Hartnoll is a painter currently living and working in Brighton, United Kingdom. Hartnoll studied Illustration at The University of Brighton, graduating in 2013, after an extensive formal artistic education - consisting of exploring multiple disciplines - he decided to concentrate his artistic career on creating paintings and immersing himself in that world. Post-degree, Hartnoll was awarded a scholarship place for two years under the tuition of Artist Jake Spicer at the Draw Atelier course. Focusing on learning various traditional drawing and painting techniques, the human figure acted as a vessel to develop aforementioned skills, to harness the unique language of paint so that it may be better translated onto canvas.

For all the trials conjured by our bodies and minds, Emma Hopkins has emerged as documentarian in chief. A bright young star of British art, 2017 finds Hopkins in the ascendant, her oeuvre captivating in its emotional intensity and uncompromising in its pursuit of uncovering our facades and conveying our raw existence. It is the revelation that Hopkins is a self-taught painter that proves most confounding. Born in Brighton in 1989, she completed a degree at University of the Arts London, where she was trained in the special art of Prosthetics for Performance. It was this that instilled an obsession with the human form and anatomy, one which coupled with her passion for the traditional techniques of portrait painting, led to Hopkins’ approach being so unique. A pioneer with seismographic awareness, Emma Hopkins takes the overt and the caressed, the yelled and the whispered and makes them tangible, bringing to the fore the battles waged by us all. In challenging our conception of the painted portrait she has ushered the tradition into the 21st century. ‘We are not just the clothed person we present to the world. We are the mind and body that we inhabit, which at no point stay the same.’ In what she has come to describe as her ‘portrait projects’, Hopkins works with sitters over a period of a few months to a few years to enable a study of being that continuously changes over time. She paints those who have in their own right fascinated her as an artist, and who then become the catalyst for a larger body of investigation. The portrait projects act as a mirror to our multifaceted nature, allowing her to explore themes that she fears the most; hidden motives, illness and death. A prodigious talent awarded both the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and the Bulldog Bursary, Emma Hopkins is now a member of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and at the forefront of contemporary portrait painting. Vital and transformative, her work tackles our core functioning and lays it bare with inexorable honesty. By melding the subject’s anatomical and psychological existence with her own, she preserves life, divining strength from fragility and beauty from darkness; the result a timeless rendering of shared experience.

The exhibition will be running from the 30th of August till the 24th of September. With a Private viewing on the evening of Tuesday 29th August from 5:30 till 7:30. 

What to expect? Toggle


Joe Nguyen

Kyran Gilbert

Exhibiting artists

Arnelda John

Jo Redpath

Simon Davis

Steve Fricker

Vikky Furse

Emma Hopkins

Milo Hartnoll


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