‘One is no longer in a history of art or a history of forms. They have been deconstructed, destroyed. All that remains to be done is play with the pieces’
At the crux of this new exhibition, is a short process film shot by Nikki Goldup, featuring Keith Hopewell painting a large blank canvas, laid flat on the ground, wearing a mask, gloves & protective clothing. The black paint being applied is unusually transmitted by the rolling of an oversized aerosol moving back & forth. This leaves tracks and over-spray wherever this ‘vehicle’ traverses. It is an oxymoron of both calculation & unpredictability that allows the composition to fall into place, until the container is left emptied of its contents. This sort of hands-free painting technique, along with the ritualist dance-like quality of his working process, evokes an eerie feeling of absence & presence, reminding us of our experience living in the strange new reality formed by the pandemic.
Over two floors of the Hoxton Gallery, (a newly built contemporary building, which almost resembles an outdoor display cabinet), there is a curated selection of monochrome paintings completed by Hopewell over the last few years. A few of the works are from a series created on the grounds of Sir Antony Gormley’s house in rural Norfolk, whilst Keith was living there in 2019. The more recent works were painted this summer over the first lockdown period, at a barn in rural Suffolk. No stranger to life in isolated environments, Hopewell operates in liminal time, using his autonomous performative painting practice as part of his socially distanced daily exercise.
Nikki Goldup’s contribution to the exhibition space, is a forensic investigation of the traces & artefacts left by Hopewell’s practice, including discarded canvas tests, wood off-cuts, horsehair & the empty protective suit worn by Keith during the making of the paintings. Here Nikki explores object-language & hypertextual relationships, responding to Keith’s process & methodology, opening new lines of enquiry & interpretation.
The question concerning both artists is, what is art today & how do we approach it in response to the global crisis & the way in which we have been redirected into digital space?’
‘It’s the very decadence of freedoms attributed to us by our access to the internet, that remove the capability to influence any real change to the dynamics that create the conditions for making the work in the first place.’
This exhibition is about working in flux & the democratisation of historically stigmatised mediums. By focusing on the performative elements of painting and art making as a lived experience, the artists believe this is the only real route towards the true essence of why we make art.
10 – 20th December 2020
17 Marlow Workshops
Arnold Circus, Shoreditch,
London E2 7JN
To book appointments to view and sales information contact Kevin Martin:
Tel: 07930 940676
Keith Hopewell was born in York 1972, studying BA (first degree hons) MA (distinction) in Fine-Art & Visual Culture at Winchester School of Art. He now lives and works in Suffolk. His practice explores the relationship between sound and non-representational painting, using unorthodox and contemporary mediums. As a multi-disciplinary artist, Hopewell’s work simultaneously collides both sculptural and painterly elements to explore sonic impressions and synesthetic perceptions. Using natural rhythms, and ritualistic systems, Hopewell’s work is about creating a pure language for the senses. Keith has exhibited internationally & has recorded 4 critically acclaimed albums for the Ninja Tune record label.
Nikki Goldup was born in Cambridge, 1972, studying BA (first degree hons) in Fine Art & Textiles at the University of Ulster, Belfast, & completing her MPhil (distinction) in Arts & Culture in Education at the University of Cambridge. She now lives and works in Suffolk. Goldup applies a multi-disciplinary approach to her practice, working with film, photography, textiles, sculpture and painting. As a researcher and artist, she has worked in a breadth of educational settings, museums and galleries both in the UK and internationally. Her work focuses around providing liberationist pedagogical experiences for participants who are often educationally or socially excluded. By fostering a culture of learning and discourse, her intention is to encourage an interplay between artist & viewer.