Small Axe Cove is pleased to present the second part of the subvert series; Subvert/Reflect coordinated by Rotimi Skyers and curated by Annabelle Nguyen. Building upon previous themes explored, which include race perception and creating a positive image for protagonists of colour, the redefinition of the female figure in art and personal identity - the second instalment creates further commentary on these themes.
London based artist of Caribbean heritage, Nariscia Henriques has a vivid style which expresses the feeling of positivity to the viewer. Henriques' work makes a commentary on the perception of Afro/Caribbean characters in paintings. Presenting them as bold, happy and positive figures. This collection of works creates a new dialogue, allowing the viewer to rebuild their image of ethnic characters in art; emancipating them from any signs of oppression, suffering or hostility.
Henriques' heavy use of pattern and bright colour creates visual pleasantries; exuding "positive vibrations" and more importantly, self empowerment.
"As an artist, I naturally gravitate towards colours and pattern, it's my "go-to", not because I'm playing it safe but because I feel most alive when I paint bright colours and I make patterns intersect and overlap. The process alone makes me fall in love with my practice over & over again. It literally follows the saying "life imitates art", a lot of what I see becomes embedded within my work, nature especially is my biggest inspiration as well as the love for my skin and my culture. I want to express that and share that excitement in hopes that someone sees it and has that mutual connection." - Nariscia
South london based artist and designer Hamed Maiye harbours a style based on forms of expression. Often seen as dark and provocative, his figurative work can easily be misperceived as visually seductive. His recent pieces of work challenge the objectification and sexualisation of the female figure in contemporary art. Often devoid of key physical features such as faces and hands, viewers are intentionally alienated in order to create their own stance. He steers the focus on the raw figure, consistently presented as naked, vulnerable and flesh like. Viewers aren't given any sense of romance with the female figure but rather left reevaluating what the female figure really is?
He explores other personal themes, all equally emotionally charged and heavy, Maiye has a distinct style which echoes influence from artists such as Francis Bacon and Egon Schiele.
"I have a fascination with the unseen; human emotions and the nature in which they're expressed/unexpressed. I tend to focus on human trends, things that make us feel. Personal insecurities and the often unspoken." - Maiye