UNION Gallery presents I Feed My Skin Upon the Landscape, Awake!, the first presentation of paintings by Ebe Oke ft. Matthew Stone, who collaborated with Oke on a selection of works.
Ebe Oke is a London-based multimedia artist and composer working with sound, performance, installation and now in the medium of painting. An artist who not limited to a single medium, Oke is in an ever-evolving state pushing the boundaries of their practice.
The exhibition at the gallery aligns itself with the release of Oke’s album SPECIES LP1.
SPECIES is comprised of songs, non-songs and sonic landscapes, engulfing themes of identity, gender, healing, and the non-human perspective, using bird and insect sounds which are processed as instrumentation alongside non-linear percussion, programming, and string quartet along with Oke’s voice pluralised through treatments to embody the multiple avatars which appear on the album.
Oke’s paintings are the first step toward creating a visual counterpoint to their music and unifying a synaesthetic vision. The exhibition stands in tandem with the album, not mirroring but moving continuously together.
Oke’s painted canvases are as much about exploration and the process of receiving as seeing and reflection. The figurative depictions are intangible to this world we inhabit, standing reflective of the artist’s mind, their practices, interactions with Artificial Intelligence and generative processes. They seem not invented nor of our time, but an unknown further past or distant future. These beings or creatures are placed in a territory of mysticism where a new awareness is opened before us.
Oke’s series of paintings with minimal forms begin a language from the “remixing” of the natural world reflecting the creative processes in SPECIES. These compositions of forms carry differing tensions and relationships to each other and are assembled from collected organic material. Certain elements have been manipulated by the artist to create sculpted forms, others left bare in their original found state. These forms are assembled in naturally forced actions to create configurations. Each painting is titled with lyrics from the record.
Matthew Stone has produced unique portraits of Oke which serve as the album artwork for the SPECIES LP1 and LP2. Each work will be shown individually and be exchanged midway through the exhibition mirroring the release of SPECIES LP2. Matthew Stone has come together with Oke to create two collaborative works which focus on there being a conversation through each artist’s visual language and exploring the extension of painting through the digital realm. The works have been produced by introducing Oke’s visual motifs into the virtual space generated by Stone’s innovative digital painting process. Stone works from the physical to the digital, archiving painted brushstrokes through photography and applying these onto digitally rendered forms and figures. The combined works of Oke and Stone cement an aligned practice in their use of assemblages to create this unique collaboration.