AboutCANAL is delighted to present the ultimate feel-good summer exhibition!
Phil Ashcroft's paintings reference sources as diverse as Japanese woodblock prints, urban grafitti, Marvel comics, Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism and science fiction. The subject matter is post-apocalyptic in tone, drawing on myths of failed civilizations, and pointing to contemporary issues of globalisation, the environment and socio-political upheaval in the early twenty-first century. Although overtly gestural, and often abstract, there is a suggestion of cropping or zooming into the image, and the work occupies a territory between the process driven and the digital.
Phil Ashcroft is a finalist in this year's John Moores Painting Prize. His work is held in numerous private, public and corporate collections, including Levis, New Art Gallery Walsall, Royal Mail and Sony Archive. A monograph of his work Solar System Parameters was published by Gamma Proforma in 2011, and his paintings, prints, billboard works and action paintings have been exhibited in a wide variety of national and international environments.
Emily Cole paints fluorescent landscapes in a gestural style, and is this year's Holt Festival Art Prize winner, with her entry on display at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Her work is held in numerous collections, including Arts Council and Regional Assembly Brussels.
Alex Gene Morrison's carefully judged abstract and semi-abstract paintings take their inspiration from schlock horror, heavy metal and early video games. The palette is often reduced to black, purple and red, and heavy metal's favoured themes of witchcraft and crucifixes are humorously referenced. Oddly formed prehistoric faces sometimes appear in the gloom of the canvas, like Jungian archetypes or crude self-portraits. The dark palette of many of his paintings suggest cave paintings or shamanic rituals. Earlier abstract paintings explicitly reference Modernism and its values, but their glossy smoothness and overt brushmarks mirror the grooves of a 12 inch record.
Alex Gene Morrison is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work is held in numerous private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA, as well as in the David Roberts Collection.
Michael Pybus' work is a techno-visual pop mash-up of remix and reconfiguration. His videos, paintings, prints, sculptures and arrangements - often low-fi-techno creations - mine the archive of kitsch iconography, placing a framework of post-conceptual and internet art around 8-bit computer games, âbad' television icons, Pokemon, 80's postmodern design, and 90's rave. The artist's avatars, symbols and recycled figures hint towards both the absurdities and earnestness of fanatical consumption and post market nostalgia.
Pybus is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions in London, Sydney and Singapore. He also runs the project space Welcome Screen in Hackney Wick, London.
Sinta Tantra is known for her dazzling geometric public art installations which draw on the motifs and colours of her Balinese heritage. The works are a hybridity of pop and formalism, a
bricolage of colour and rhythm, an exploration of identity and aesthetics. Tantra challenges
our understanding of geography whilst playing on notions of globalization / localization and
deconstructing the modern obsession with brand. Themes within the work include the slippage
between pictorial and physical space, of turning something 'inside out' and how we as bodies
become submerged in surface and structure.
A British artist of Balinese descent, Sinta Tantra was born in New York. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy Schools. Tantra's site-specific murals and installations have been presented in numerous galleries and public institutions including Canary Wharf, Liverpool Biennial, Southbank Centre, Transport for London and Newnham College, Cambridge. Her work is held in numerous collections, including the National Government Collection.
Mimei Thompson's recent paintings pay homage to the still life tradition. The works are both process based and representational, figurative and abstract. Paint marks in the work function descriptively, but their own physicality, as paint, as a trace of gesture, also remains dominant.
Mimei Thompson completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, and her work has been selected for the Jerwood Painting Prize, the Exeter Open and the Marmite Painting Prize. Collections include the Arts Council Collection, University of the Arts, Royal College of Art, Kay Hartenstein Saatchi, One Aldwych and Clare Hall, Cambridge.
Paul Westcombe draws intricate scenes of urban angst and smut on throwaway items such as paper cups, till receipts and travel cards. The work deals in part with the fantasy worlds of the imagination when trapped in boredom, and investigates a complex part of human desire: the capacity to construct the grotesque and phantasmagorical in moments of sensory deprivation.
The drawings are wildly carnivalesque depictions of neurotic solitary thoughts. The titles - Sex Is Boring With Me, You're Hardly Ever Here And When You're Here You're Bored form a self-deprecating commentary on the drawings' own unbridled visions. Combining Hieronymous Bosch's hellish distortions of the human body with Viz magazine's lurid satires of middlebrow taste, the drawings are at once spontaneous and measured, casual and baroque Paul Westcombe's practice also includes large drawings and installations and drawings on objects such as mops and toilet plungers.
Paul Westcombe was born in Scotland and is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. His work was featured in the 2013 Paper exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London, as well as Jerwood Space (solo installation) and Creekside Open (selected by Mark Wallinger). Commissions also include a limited edition artwork for the Whitechapel Gallery and a mural installation for NATO in Brussels. Collections include Saatchi Gallery, Royal College of Art, Grays Art School, Royal Scottish Academy, and Art & Heritage Collections Robert Gordon University.
For press information or images, please contact Monika Bobinska on 0786 606 3663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.