Contemporary Fine Art : John Heywood-Waddington, Pauline Fehily and Gill Roth - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

Contemporary Fine Art : John Heywood-Waddington, Pauline Fehily and Gill Roth

Fri, 08/14/2020 to Sat, 11/14/2020

curated by:

The Contemporary Fine Art Course is an advanced course taught by Bob Matthews. Liane Lang and for this exhibiting year Jost Munster. It is aimed at a broad range of artists and seeks to develop a community where practical and theoretical skills can be explored and established with emphases on making, presenting, talking and thinking about art.

GILL ROTH Instagram@rothgill
Gill makes work that describes the interplay between abstraction and figuration, where the observable world meets the environment of the imagination. Her work is a process that encourages intuition, accident and play. She uses and reuses stencils, tearing, tracing, flipping and repeating shapes that possess an ambiguity or dual meaning. Her current work features recurring contemporary motifs that place her figures in the here and now, whilst hinting at inner bodily functions or states of mind. Animated limbs reverberate with neurotic energy. Faces flicker in a digital glitch. There is an x-ray quality that merges the body with the environment it is trying to escape or control.

John is an artist living in Deptford, London. Working from his studio at Thames Side Studios, near Woolwich, John creates paintings, collages, charcoals, and experiments with mixed media and digital art, regularly undertaking commissions. He has exhibited his work in several group shows, most recently, at the beginning of this year, ‘Alternative’ , at the Menier Gallery in London Bridge.

Originally from Essex, John moved to London in 1999, after graduating from Royal Holloway college, London University with a degree in Media Arts. His early ambition was to be a film-maker, and to this end he wrote and directed short films, as well as taking on a number of jobs within the industry. His enthusiasm for cinema continues to strongly inform his artistic practice.

Feeling like he needed to answer an artistic calling, he took a year out to study and live in a remote seaside town, completing an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth university in 2011. He wrote a third of a memoir about comedy and personal crisis, trying stand-up as part of the research, as well as performing songs on guitar at open mics. He also wrote restaurant reviews for a food and drink guide.

Completing his second degree in Fine Art at Kensington and Chelsea College in 2017, John has since attended classes at The Essential School of Painting, where he has thrived under the tuition of some of the leading names in contemporary art, among them David Mach, Liane Lang, Bob Matthews and Jost Munster.

As a painter, his work is broadly figurative. Expressionistic, vigorous brushwork and mark-marking often veer into the language of abstraction. There is an emphasis on the landscape, and the sea is a recurring motif. These serve as backdrops for human interactions.

There is a performative aspect to the way in which he makes paintings, and John often works fast and expressionistically, in the moment, trying to capture lightning in a bottle. It’s as much about the transformative act of making, as the outcome.

A love of poetry is also an influence and inspiration in John’s work. He wants to make his paintings operate like visual poems, for the viewer to experience them emotionally, rather than necessarily try to understand them literally.

They are about movement, and the materiality of paint, as much as the subject. There is a sense of urgency, of the paint being driven around the canvas, as he seeks to give expression to the emotional, psychological state of the scene… as if the viewers could be onlookers at a critical moment. “The physical application of brushstrokes tell their own story.”

His imagery is often derived from photo references, as well as being strongly influenced by his love of cinema. Some of the compositions could have been taken from a film camera… or newsreel footage.

I was born in Durham and went to Sunderland College of Art where I obtained a BA in Fine Art.
I worked for 4 years in the Exhibitions department of the Imperial War Museum.
I trained at and worked for the BBC as a make up artist for 11 years. Since then
I have been a freelance make up artist, working in film and television.
My art practice is informed by my interest in history (mainly 20th century), faces and stories.
I work from found photographs, usually people posed in formal groups or snapshots where figures are still primarily looking to camera. I choose photographs mainly from the 1930s through to early 1950s. I do not believe there is any sense of nostalgia in my choice of subject (though I do like the hair) but I feel it is a significant period of modern history and one of increasing relevance to today.
I do not aim for an exact likeness in my paintings. I try to create images of faces that look believable, that look like people I might know.
The fact that they stare out at the viewer and tell you nothing is what I like.
They are waiting and I am too, though I’m not sure for what.
I work mainly in oils, on canvas or on pva primed paper. Also in ink on soaked paper.
Recently, I have been using acrylics on cardboard.

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