On Wednesday April 23rd, the Hus gallery in Mayfair rolled out the red carpet to HRAC for a private talk with the artists exhibited at their ‘The Back of the Beyond’ show. Everything was beautiful from the art to the people serving the wine! The occasion was to listen to three very talented emerging artists discuss their practices. Sam Irons is a conceptual photographer, Neil Raitt (who recently entered the Franks-Suss collection) is a painter and Adam Bainbridge is a draughtsman. Despite working in different media, they all seemed to share one underlying theme which is the challenge of representing familiar objects or sights and rendering them in such a way that the viewer questions the origin, the substance or the place. Irons has a philosophical approach to his photography: he takes analog photos of otherwise banal, prosaic places but through long exposure or a skewed perspective, he attempts to remove the sight from language and description. The result is an ever worldly anonymity to each photograph. They are really beautiful, too! Neil abstracts the figurative in a hyper realistic way. The reoccurring motif of a mountain or a tree is reproduced painstakingly hundreds of times to create an at once psychedelic effect while also questioning the role of nature in our digitally connected world today. Like Caspar David Freidrich, the 19th century romanticist, he is embracing the enormity and infinitely prevailing scale of nature in our world today despite our increasingly heavy reliance on technology. He is also, to my pleasure and amusement, a huge fan of Bob Ross (Happy Little Clouds!!). Oh, and he is also nominated for the prestigious Catlin Art Prize this year. As for Adam, he diligently masters the humble yet equally important and fundamental medium of drawing. His beautiful, metaphysical creations are amalgamations of actual sculptures he has seen at the Victoria & Albert museum, which he photographs then cuts up and rearranges and morphs into these fictional entities. The result is a wonderful dichotomy: this futuristic, fictitious entity is rendered with an Academic technique which is at once beautiful and arresting.
It’s always great to hear the artists talk about their own work but in this case, they all really seemed to like each other and respect each other’s practices and commented on inspiration they found in the others’ work. It was really cool to see!
Thanks so much to director Jamie and to MT and Jessica for organising!