The Painting Year 2 Uran Apak & Isnaini Nash - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

The Painting Year 2 Uran Apak & Isnaini Nash

Tue, 09/07/2021 to Mon, 02/07/2022

curated by:

The figure is always at the heart of my painting and I always aim for a sweet spot between realism and abstraction - between what I see and what I imagine. Before I used to only paint from imagination but the latest paintings are based on drawings of live models, mostly through Zoom sessions during the lockdowns. I’ve been drawing from my imagination since childhood, drawing from life is new to me. Looking at reality gives me a sense of grounding and helps me flesh out my imaginary characters better.

I often find that the figures in my painting are different facets of what I am or what I want to be. Painting is the medium through which my inner voices can find a visual expression, often taking hybrid shapes such as aliens, gods/goddesses, animal-like figures, robots and hermaphrodites. I see my painting as a performance space where these ‘other’ bodies are welcomed. The hybrids I paint cause me to reflect on their meaning. I want it to be a strange and playful mirror, reflecting of course some aspect of myself I had not discovered before.

Beyond my personal journey and exploration, there is also a hope that the viewer will find a unique way of looking at themselves and the world through my work. Even though I gravitate towards the strange, I need a sense of the familiar to draw in the viewer. Sometimes I make references to art history or popular culture and thus create a sense of the familiar - a base that allows the unique and the unexpected elements of my work to be discerned and appreciated.

INSTAGRAM: @uranapakart

I am more comfortable in the dark hours. Walking at night provides me space to think. Artificial light pooling onto concrete, spotlighting hedgerows and filtering through leaves. A futuristic landscape, a liminal space between the real and the imagined.
Taking reference from medical journals, architectural, dystopian imagery of London and metaphysical symbols in medieval scripts, I use collage to compose ideas and paint these images onto canvas or board. I contrast textured grounds with flat, collaged imagery and often combine architecture with the figure.
I am interested in changes to our physiological and psychological selves brought about by advances in technology and how data dominates our lives. A characteristic of Technic*, a current cosmogonic force, is that it produces a disintegration of reality and as a result reduces human existential experience. Current changes to the way we organise ourselves have allowed more time for introspection and further questioning of our power structures. I project versions of myself into avatars and imagine portals to other worlds in an exploration of alternative reality-settings on the threshold of a failing capitalist civilisation.
*Frederico Campagna, Technic and Magic, The Reconstruction of Reality, Bloomsbury 2021

THE PAINTING YEAR 2 is for artists looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs, Melissa Kimes and Guy Allott. Much of the work was produced this year via Zoom over lockdown when the tutors and artists still managed brilliantly to find ways to work from imagination, photography, story-telling and other sources. The Painting Year 2 had two groups on different days Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The artists actively engaged with contemporary and art historical themes plus painting language, opening doors to untried possibilities

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