This is England Group show at The Aubin Gallery Private View Thursday 3rd June 2010

21st May – 21st June 2010 Private view: Thursday 3rd June 2010
Curated by Stuart Semple Featuring; Nicky Carvell, Richard Galloway,The Girls, David Hancock, Alana Lake, Sarah Maple,Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom

England’s once green & pleasant land’s only true coherence is in its constant chaotic state of flux. This culture of beautiful hybridity is seen here through the eyes of a group of truly pioneering visual creatives.
Although this disparate group work across a variety of disciplines from painting, to sculpture, video, performance, photography and interactive works they are all united by their interest in this eccentric ancient country of ours.

“Be childish. Be irresponsible. Be disrespectful. Be everything this society hates.”
-Malcolm McLaren

His words could be no more appropriate than at this precise time, Britain is closer in feeling to the pre-punk cusp than ever before. These artists clearly work with a playful, disrespectful untangling of conventions that undermine British traditions themselves, a loss of which this society fears the most. Each artist in their own way questions our attachment to the mythical, or customs and in turn it’s impact on compliance and resultantly our conduct itself.

As you get close to corroding these ideological anchors, our population writhes with anger yet a snide nonchalance and punkish distain for them is celebrated. Is it here we truly find the birth of British subcultures?

“A Whole Street’s belief in Sunday’s roast Beef”
– The Jam (Town called Malice)

From the saccharine Saturday morning superhero pop star worship of Nicky Carvell’s sculptural telly-land; to Hancock’s intricate pictorial analysis of British youths, we gain a false sense of escapism. David’s meticulous drawings of video game players hiding from the archaic superstructures of control and Nicky’s homage to East17, inevitably end with inertia where the celebrity is ‘other’ or the video game ‘just a game’. An inertia that is also found in Junior’s installation pieces, where his ACME universe is set firmly on pause, often at the moment before punch line. Richard’s incredible epic lino-cuts take us to the launderette, bookie’s, the school bus or the greasy spoon, uncovering a beauty in the seedy side of life that could only ever happen here.


‘Cornfed’ © The Girls 2008 (self portrait)

Photographic duo The Girls tackle taboo head on with their witty and satirical condemnation of British conventions. Both Alana Lake and Sarah Maple centre their practices on their identity, Sarah as a British Muslim challenging her religions boundaries by playing out British social norms and Alana through an analysis of her father’s yobbish football hooligan culture.


The Garden Party © The Girls 2006

The Aubin Gallery
The Aubin Gallery is a collaborative venture with Aubin & Wills and leading British artist and curator Stuart Semple who will direct an innovative program of guest curators, new art talent and in-house art projects to create a unique inter-disciplinary platform. The Aubin Gallery is housed on the top floor of Aubin & Wills’ first destination store; a multi-storey, converted Postwar office building. The 7,500sq. ft. concept space also includes The Aubin Cinema which is run in collaboration with the members club Shoreditch House to contribute a new social hot spot in East London’s Redchurch Sreet.
www.theaubingallery.com

Stuart Semple
Born in 1980, Stuart Semple is a British painter whose work can be found in major international art collections. He has exhibited worldwide, curated for leading institutions and writes for national publications.

During 2007’s Frieze Art Fair, Semple’s solo exhibition “Fake Plastic Love” achieved record breaking sales and attendance figures. Staged in the 8000 sq ft blacked out Truman Brewery with rock concert rigging and lighting were his gigantic billboard scale canvases. Semple’s curatorial projects, “The Black Market” in NYC and “MashUps” at the Design and Artists Copyright Society in London achieved critical acclaim. Building on his success as a painter, Semple has collaborated on artistic projects with Umbro, Moncler, The Prodigy, Selfridges and Levis. In 2009, he held an artistic performance, “HappyCloud”, at the Tate Modern, where he
sent eco-friendly smiley pink clouds towards the recession bitten city. He also held solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, New York and Italy.

His latest solo exhibition “Happy House” is at Morton Metropolis in London Through to 29th May.
www.stuartsemple.com
Stuart Semple Q&A

I Love You Villa, Alana Lake 2010

Alana Lake
Alana Lake is a British born artist (1981) and studied at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, graduating in 2009. She works predominately with photography and describes her work as observing seemingly banal incidences encouraging transcendent moments amongst everyday occurrences. She draws the viewers’ attention to phenomena that would ordinarily go unnoticed making peculiar but poignant connections in the juxtaposition of her images. Her recent work entitled Football as Family: Obsession and Fandom takes a look at sports fanaticism using her father and his friends as an immediate source of research.


Laxfield Court, Alana Lake 2009


YOU, Sarah Maple 40×30 in digital print
Sarah Maple
Sarah Maple was born in 1985. She completed a BA in Fine Art from Kingston University in 2007, and now lives in her native Sussex. In the same year she also won the New Sensations competition for emerging artists, run by Charles Saatchi and Channel 4. Sarah’s work has been featured as the cover and content of US art/fashion magazine Swindle, and Nylon magazine. She has also worked with Dazed and Confused and Dolce and Gabbana on her film and performance works. Her artwork, films and performances have been displayed on the London Tube as advertising art space, and been exhibited in New York, Canada, Ireland, and throughout Britain.

Much of Maple’s inspiration originates from being brought up as a Muslim, with parents of mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. Blurring the lines between popular culture and religious devotion in an unfailingly mischievous manner, Sarah’s aesthetic narrative urges the viewer to challenge traditional notions of religion, identity and the societal role of women.


White Girl, Sarah Maple 20 x 30 in digital print


David Hancock ‘Siamese Dream’ Acrylic on Canvas, 19′ x 4′ ft, 2001
David Hancock
David Hancock lives and works in Manchester and gained great public attention during the John Moores 21 Contemporary painting exhibition and 2000’s BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. In the same year he was a resident ‘Artist at Work’ at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, and had his first solo exhibition in a Public Art Gallery at Cartwright Hall in Bradford. For the past decade he has gained great recognition for his unique and intimate rendering of his subject matter and capturing the fragility of their youth in its temporal state.


David Hancock ‘Rouge’ Acrylic on Canvas 122 x 700cm, 2002


Nicky Carvell
After having Graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2009 Nicky Carvell was awarded the Land Securities Award, providing a years residency on Oxford Street, London. Working in a Post-Pop climate, she extracts graphic tropes from 90’s magazines and digitally processes these to formal excess. Also holding a fascination with suburban leisure signage, the resultant works are exuberant collages of dynamic lines and calligraphic strokes colliding and compacting themselves onto their aluminium support. She sees her work as a deconstruction and veneration of mass consumerist visuals – becoming retro yet progressive at the same time.

The Girls
The Girls are re-emerging British art duo Andrea Blood (b. 1975, UK) and Zoë Sinclair (b.1976, UK), whose collaboration began in 1996 at Central Saint Martins. After a seven year hiatus, The Girls began making new work in 2006, described by the Evening Standard as ‘Sexy, irreverent post-feminism. Think Angela Carter crossed with Cindy Sherman’. The Girls’ practice focuses on creating private staged tableaux and recording them as self-portrait photography or video. Themes explored include Englishness, childhood, gender, women’s
relationship with food, obsession and eroticism. The Girls are artists-in-residence in Selfridges’ Ultralounge during April 2010, in a collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery.


Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom ‘Them & Those’ 2008 Umbrellas, Tea Pots, Black Gloss Paint Size Variable

Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom
Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom was born and lives in London. He completed his BFA at Winchester School of Art and graduated from the Royal Academy in 2008. Junior takes the readymade as his starting point but brings it into performative play, often with paint or liquid such as plaster or spray paint. He sets up situations of everyday objects that are activated during a brief performance; the aftermath and the photographic or filmed record of it all form part of the work. He has recently had a two month residency at Gallery Primo Alonso and will be exhibiting a new solo exhibition in 2010 Richard Galloway

My Large scale Linocuts make up what I call my Modern Day Soap Operas. They include my meticulous depictions of London’s East End. Snapshots of an only semi fictitious sin-city. I celebrate with bleak humour what is both ludicrous and enchanting about English life and society exploring themes of social change, conflict, faith and struggle.

The dark humoured, satirical edged Narrative Worlds I create initially start with what I observe around me. The accuracy or legitimacy of my observations have always been hard gained through being right there in the throng of the action immersing myself in the environments I study, be it my local Barber’s Boozer or betting shop, or rising pre dawn to accompany my Dustbin men on their morning rounds.

My Hard men, Hard Grafters, Tramps, Bar Flies and Bingo Callers unflatteringly depicted sometimes but without cruelty make up my Narratives. The narratives are developing in a new playful manner, they are growing Street by Street, without boundaries or conservative concerns for content. I am taking ownership of my Characters fates and directions, for the better or the ridiculous.


Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom ‘Hot Chocolate’ 2009 Sony 32″ Monitor,’The Alternative Fireplace’ DVD, Porcelain Cat, Tempered Dark Chocolate Size Variable

Richard Galloway, ‘Better With Or Without’ Linocut on Japanese paper

Richard Galloway
My Large scale Linocuts make up what I call my Modern Day Soap Operas. They include my meticulous depictions of London’s East End. Snapshots of an only semi fictitious sin-city. I celebrate with bleak humour what is both ludicrous and enchanting about English life and
society exploring themes of social change, conflict, faith and struggle.
The dark humoured, satirical edged Narrative Worlds I create initially start with what I observe around me. The accuracy or legitimacy of my observations have always been hard gained through being right there in the throng of the action immersing myself in the environments I study, be it my local Barber’s Boozer or betting shop, or rising pre dawn to accompany my Dustbin men on their morning rounds.

My Hard men, Hard Grafters, Tramps, Bar Flies and Bingo Callers unflatteringly depicted sometimes but without cruelty make up my Narratives. The narratives are developing in a new playful manner, they are growing Street by Street, without boundaries or conservative concerns for content. I am taking ownership of my Characters fates and directions, for the better or the ridiculous.

www.aubinandwills.com/

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a strategy & creative agency working with brands to solve business problems using cultural tools. www.fad.agency In 2008 following his passion for art he founded what has grown to become FAD magazine. FAD magazine is internationally recognized as a key figure within the emerging and contemporary art world, and has been selected as official partner by organizations as diverse as Moniker Art Fair, START, Volta and Christie’s. In addition Mark is a columnist for City Magazine.

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