Adam Black

Adam Black is a happy-go-lucky 18-year-old, just starting art school but already reaching notoriety for his enlivening bold and poppy work which as featured on t-shirts he has designed, gig posters and much more! Definitely reminiscent of the Cape Town sunshine he grew up in and now Nottingham based, his work touches upon the clear political and socio-economic undercurrents in both the South African and the UK landscapes.

Think: ‘Whut!?’ ‘Arms’, ‘Life’ to name a few slogan-like texts which lie sprawled, in funky letters across drawings, paintings and increasingly digital and collage work. It is hard not to like. Like, it is hard not to like this scanned piece of ham. Adam works very quickly and points out various family members painted in his recognisable but perhaps unflattering style, seemingly always armed with drawing materials! Paintings are light hearted and slightly satyrical and the film photographs very sincere and documentary-like, collage work perhaps playing lightly between the two.

Check out Adam’s website at www.adamtblack.com, tumblr – letsadamblack.tumblr.com and follow him on Facebook at for new work and updates,

(All images copyright to Adam Black)

SAM HOUSTON

WARNING : if feeling blue, do not watch! Sam Houston’s tormented art tends to show us “fear in a handful of dust” and although his style is positively unique, he would have been, without a doubt, good mates with T.S. Eliot and all this lot. With his portrayals of decaying houses and obscure silhouettes that he describes as “our understanding of home”, Houston surely would be a perfect candidate to illustrate any 20th century English literature book. For the moment, though, he has only just graduated in Fine Art at Falmouth University and has already contributed to exhibitions in Manchester, London and more recently in the lovely city of Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Art Fair. He has now returned to Cheshire, where he is preparing for future exhibitions.

Working mostly with earthly, autumnal colors that he skillfully controls to create a vintage feel, his paintings all seem to express his intimate concern with the fragility of roots. A major part of his art consists of depicting human shadows trying to hold on to some kind of connection with their fading backgrounds. Somber houses falling apart, shadows of trees and mountains or desolate roads act as symbols for a past that is difficult to hold on to because unreachable.

His paintings immediately catch the eye as the mysterious protagonists tell a story. Even though they seem awkwardly out of place, they do stir feelings of familiarity – and not necessarily because we are all depressed fools witnessing the falling apart of everything that seemed solid in their lives. Somehow Houston successfully beautifies the sadness of his work and allows the viewer to warm up to it. “Somehow”, or simply because he is incredibly talented.

For more information on his upcoming work, you can visit his official website, Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.

Jing Hu

I first came across Jing Hu’s work at the University of the Arts London’s Freshers Fair last year, when we shared various works with each other as fellow fine art students. I was immediately blown away by the illustrative style of her paintings, possessing at once a very distinctive Chinese quality yet also the influence of western antiquity.

Her colour palettes ranges from vibrant reds to monochromatic greys, but the vast majority of her work have subdued, introspective undertones. The stylised, sometimes hybrid characters stare solemnly back at the observer, haunting in their androgynous, anime beauty and poised in frozen inertia. They sit or lounge or stand in luxurious, traditional settings or strangely fantastical landscapes. Doe-like eyes seem to accuse the viewer of something – you’re not sure exactly what, but they seem to be trying to communicate a story to you.

With a stroke of her brush, Jing Hu weaves an unspoken narrative between the threads of her seductive characters as she “explores ideas around flux, migration, urban-life with aesthetic codes as markers of identity and aspirations.” Essentially, her work elevates the banality of modern life to the realm of urban mythology.

To follow Jing Hu’s journey and view more of her works in her eclectic portfolio (which also includes mixed media art), visit her website.

Sophie J Cunningham

Sophie J Cunningham is living proof of an age old vital fact about illustration: working traditionally will simply never go out of style.

In this increasingly digitalised age, not being super top notch on your photoshopping skills or not being able to afford the most recent C200 Adobe suite (which’ll only set you back a couple thousand hundred pounds of course) can make you feel a bit lost in the times; however illustrators like Sophie are here to show how you can throw your Wacom tablet into the wind and make absolutely stunning work with just a brush and some paints.

Having just graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art and still maintaining that she doesn’t “quite know if I have a career yet“, Sophie’s style is entirely hand painted- a delicate way of working that requires a lot of patience, but also produces rather beautiful results. The tone and texture of her pieces have a lot more depth and soul thanks to this I believe, and her hand-drawn lettering is very original yet as neat and crisp as any computer type face.

When asked this question [on why she works so traditionally] I usually joke that I don’t work digitally because I don’t know how to use the Adobe suite (I don’t have a clue!), but really it’s just because I love what I do. I’ve always painted. It does take a long time and I often end up with a claw for a hand after a hard days work, but the satisfaction  I get from the work, as well as people’s reactions to my paintings makes it worth it for me. It feels nice to be doing something that’s a little different. At the moment, I just want to keep doing what I enjoy, but I’d never rule out working digitally in the future.

In content her work definitely has the kind of look that would be perfect for things such as children’s books and decorations: it’s vibrant, adorable, and slightly stylised. However she also has produced some more elegant pattern designs (such as the vinyl cover for Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets album that you can see in the top insert picture to the left hand side).

She also professes that she “devoured encyclopedias as a child” leaving her with a great love for “anything to do with natural history“. This interest can really be seen in a lot of her works – her final University year was devoted to researching polar exploration, and it’s really lovely to see old subjects or events such as the adventures of Ernest Shackleton or William Hardy (who discovered circulation of the blood) be rediscovered and imagined by her. As she says herself: “I really enjoy taking historic imagery and making it accessible and relevant today”.

And as for the future she is currently balancing a part time job with painting to keep herself afloat, but if anybody is around in Edinburgh from mid-August this year she has her first solo exhibition in Eteaket on Frederick Street for the duration of the Fringe, which I’d highly recommend checking out. She would also love to design her own range of illustrated merchandise- “Maybe even a shop to sell it in (a girl can dream!)”

 

To see more of Sophie’s work look below:

 

Website

Twitter

Julie Marie Fleming

Unusual canvas formats draw immediate attention to the vibrant and colorful compositions in Julia’s paintings. Adopting peculiar circle and semi-circle canvas as part of her artworks, she steps out of the traditionally used form.

This noteworthy attempt of replacing the ordinary square shape with less common forms, opens new perspectives in artistic practice. Canvas is the foundation, the basics, that’s where you start. Change the foundation, and the artist’s thinking will change.

Originally from Glasgow, Julia Marie Fleming is Edinburgh based artist, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2012. She has participated in various exhibitions including Black Cube Collective at The Old Ambulance Depot and Bold. Colour. Progress. at The Congregational Gallery. She is inspired by the colors and forms that are seen in nature. From microscopic photographs to macro telescopic images, she explores nature that cannot be perceived with the naked eye.

Julia’s works change what we traditionally know about painting. Her highly contemporary artworks stand out, catching the attention by unfamiliar forms and bold, vibrant imagery. There is emotion and passion. Color contrasts create the mood and the atmosphere. Each painting is a unique observation of surrounding space.

 

Julia’s artworks are not about the concept, but about the image. Her art is not overloading the viewer with ideas and theories, which is so popular in today’s art world, but projects the purity of aesthetic qualities. She lets the viewer to decide, interpret and appreciate the artwork in his own way.

To see more of her works, visit this website www.juliemarieart.co.uk

Rory Green

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know a fantastic young artist from Essex. I’m a big Art fan myself, and I think it’s so interesting seeing what the young British art scene of today has to offer. As an artist, Rory is incredibly passionate and dedicated to his art. His pieces are deep, meaningful, yet still beautifully intriguing and visually effective. Drawing from both classic influences, and modern topics, Rory creates relatable works that speak to the audience. I find it’s rare in young artists to find someone that is not only talented, but knowledgable on what’s going on in the world of art today. Because of this Rory is someone who will continue to develop his work, bringing us more and more. One to watch, and a true British original. Here’s what he had to say:

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Tell me about yourself as an artist

I’m Rory I’m 21 and I do art at the University Of Hertfordshire. I’ve just finished my second year and I’ve probably gone the most long winded way about doing a Fine Art Degree. From leaving sixth form I did a foundation diploma at ware college, a foundation degree at war college and NOW, as most people I was at Ware with are leaving university I’m about to enter my third year at University Of Hertfordshire. My art work usually centres around myself and my reactions, thoughts and observations on what is around me from pop culture to my personal family life. I’ve been told that I’m a concept artist and I’d largely agree with that. My work takes all manor of forms from painting and photography to installation often trying to mix them all in some way to create my work.

What are the influences and inspirations behind your latest works?

Football. Football is the inspiration behind my current work because its what I’m surrounded by constantly. I’m football fan and however that is not the reason why I’ve chosen football as the subject of my latest body of work. My brother is a professional footballer so I see a different side of the beautiful game to that of the ninety minutes you see at a weekend. My work is challenging the public perception of football and footballers both culturally and whether they have a place in fine art. It’s an ongoing theme at the moment because I feel it’s something I can really sink my teeth into and enjoy creating work about. My most recent body of work shows photographs of myself dressed in my brothers football kits, England kits and Manchester United kits, a painting of myself showing a sort of tribute to a Peter Blake painting, a green canvas with football boots on it, a painting of myself holding a football and a football, on a plinth with the words “god is dead, football is your new religion” upon it. My aim for my work is to get a reaction out of my audience and get people to really think about what the hell I’m conveying. I like to keep it autonomous and allow the public to have their own opinion-I won’t force the meaning upon them.

Football unifies people the world over and I feel that art does that too. There are many similarities between the two for me. Grass roots football is no different to an art student at school, college or university and the galleries you show your work in is the same to the leagues in professional football with the big names and big buyers being the premiership.

As a young artist, have you found it difficult to establish your own style?

I think it’s hard for any young artist to find their own style whilst they are at university. You’re constantly being told to research and go to galleries to see what’s new, current, and modern in contemporary art and I think there is only so much information that you should and can take from what you’re seeing otherwise your instincts will be to work in a way which you know the outcome will be successful because it looks like what you saw last week in London. I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past and now coming to the end of my second year, I’ve found that I’m beginning to finally develop my own style. I was never one that wanted to do LOADS of research to inform my work however now I’ve found it’s about being selective with what you’re researching and selective with how you use it to inform your work…then your style will develop from what you yourself add to your research.

What are your thoughts on the British Art scene of today?

The British art scene today is ever growing under a pile of YBA comparison. Which isn’t as bad as it may sound. Yes the YBA’s were and still are the top draw in this countries top art galleries but they haven’t been young for twenty years. Yet what they did paved the way for art students like me to make the work I want to make. I think the British art scene is in a predicament of wanting to move away from the past and look to the future but the mainstream exposure for the future isn’t there. I’m a BIG fan of Sarah Maple right now. She’s going to be and SHOULD be our next biggest export however lazy comparisons of her being the heir to Tracey Emin’s thrown can hold her back instead of skyrocketing her, she’s brilliant. It’s a predicament because staging MASSIVE retrospectives generate LOADS of money and create a massive buzz about British art…but we should be making a fuss about the new young British artists that are making the noise now.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

In the future I am going to finish my degree and possibly go on to do an MA…I’m more likely to do the MA and gather as much experience as I possibly can for when I finally leave. I have conflicting thoughts about wanting to teach or be a tutor with people that want to do art or just try it and go for it and be an artist. My work will keep growing as I do too, as corny as that sounds, but I’m going to keep on developing this body of work. One of the things I’ve learnt is that an artists artwork has to be a continuous line of enquiry rather than looking at it as “I’ve done one thing this semester and now I’m going to switch and look at some ing completely different” it has to flow and it has to be real. The best in anything whether its art, music, film…anything has to be real for it to be the best.

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Rory’s unique style and infectious passion for his art make him definitely one to watch in the future. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. To see more of Rory then get in touch:

Email: green.rory@hotmail.co.uk

Katie

Claire Simpson

Abstract paintings and collages, portraying delicate tonal variations and harmonic geometrical compositions form central part of Claire Simpson’s portfolio of urban observations. Claire is a recent graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, where she received her BA in Drawing and Painting.

She investigates the built environment and transforms her observations into fundamental shapes and geometry.  She picks existing places or architectural details and creates a geometrical response, which results in an appealing graphic image with recognizable elements that guide you through the artwork. Her works represent a  sensitive combination of spatial qualities and flattened surface. I like looking at her well-executed artworks, perceiving this abstract imagery as a key to person’s unique world view.

“Inspired by the phenomenon of the urban experience, I experiment in bringing what we see from outside into a context where its existence is appreciated more. Attracted by the basic shapes of buildings I break down forms to their simplest state and juxtapose them. Pure geometry has a presence and I choose to play with this possibility, experimenting with the understanding of aesthetics through color and shape.”

Her recent exhibitions include 74² in Whitespace gallery and RSA New Conteporaries 2013.

To find out more check out her website www.claire-simpson.co.uk

 

Ekin Balcioglu

Ekin Balcioglu is a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, where she received her BA in Menswear, and where she wishes to continue on to her MA.

Despite her fashion background, Ekin has drawn and painted most of her life – She decided to study menswear at CSM in an effort to combine her interests of shape, volume, and texture within her usual every day practice of painting and water-based media. Her interests grew into blurring the boundaries between mediums, taking the solidity of fabrics and the fluidity of painting and producing what has become more fine art than fashion. However, despite this difference, Ekin has so far been awarded several prizes for her work in painting/drawing figures.

The artist’s interest in water-based media stems from the unpredictability of it – Unlike other mediums, she doesn’t have complete control over the final outcome, resulting in abstract, blurring forms. Her ‘Untitled’ ink on paper series reflects her interest in the form, specifically that of the human form, and how that, combined with the fluidity and unpredictability of the ink, can create almost anamorphic, animal-like, formless beings.

 

– Killian

Soo Eun Baik

Soo Eun Baik is a Korean artist living and working in both Seoul and London. She has received her BA and MA degrees in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Soo Eun’s work focuses predominantly on the medium of painting – utilizing watercolour, gouache and acrylic paints to achieve her desired pieces. Following her MA course at Chelsea, Soo Eun decided to focus on and then later on stick to painting the landscape in watercolour – This stemming from her interest in the medium’s translucent, fluid consistency, relating back to her relationships between (what she refers to as) her inner and outer spaces. The landscape becomes a metaphor for integrating these inner and outer spaces in association with the finished painting’s material property.

Through an abstraction of her perspective, tone and colour, she releases a surrealistic, fantastical environment that appears if from a transient, dream world.

To see more of Soo Eun’s work, feel free to visit her website here – http://www.sooeunbaik.com/

 

– Killian

Tommy Ramsay

Tommy Ramsay is a recent graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design, where he received his BA in Fine Art.

At first glance, Tommy Ramsay’s work appears way too abstract to be understood straight away. However, with the right context and enough concentration, it is easy for the viewer to become almost completely immersed into the artist’s paintings. Stemmed from the idea of re-contextualizing and re-figuring every day, common spaces, Ramsay deliberately looks to combine the every day with the unrecognizable – the ‘non-places’, as the artist refers to them. The artist re-addresses these ‘non-places’ within the every day, giving them some sort of value and merit, looking to find an interpretation to them that would otherwise have been unknown before. He looks for specific details in these spaces – Rubbish, wear and tear, human interference – Anything that can become re-contextualized and brought to life in his paintings. By painting these spaces in his abstract, surrealist style, Ramsay allows the audience to delve into a place where time is slowed down, experience evolves and the space becomes a new, unrecognizable experience – Breathing new life into the painting.

 

– Killian

 

 

Evie Kitt

Evie Kitt is a 21-year-old artist studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford. Being one of the most esteemed Art Schools in the country, the course allows its students to follow their own art practice alongside immersive academia. Her dedication began by focusing on figurative drawing until she could accurately recreate her visual surroundings. Branching out into figurative drawing and then progressing into abstraction, Evie also partakes in illustrative drawing independent from her abstract creations.

One of the most striking things when first laying eyes on Evie’s paintings is the exploration of vivid colour and immersive landscapes. The depth of pigment and contrasts of light and dark complement the abstract visuals. Incredibly impactful yet beautiful without being shallow. Indulging the artist’s fascination with space, nebula, land and waterscape, balancing the organic and the natural world around us. Achieved through the medium of paint, which is underlined by intensity and luminosity. The paintings are designed to entice the viewer’s attention, to stimulate the eye and feed the visual appetite. It is clear Evie produces work that a viewer wants to look at whilst expressing her own creative enjoyment and physical process of painting.

Achieving these paintings by working on the floor, Evie uses a mix of professional and household materials. Making art with a hands on approach that sandwiches unique skill with igneous method. There is an understated charm about working on the floor and using a mix of materials to create something that is reminiscent of an otherworldly universe. Maybe this alternative visual is reflective of the process of painting, if you consider painting an attempt to control the uncontrollable. Often abstract art tries to obliterate some form of reality, which the works do, but they also succeed at creating a new center to focus on. With many focal points littering the painted canvases. There is a sense of creating an alternative visual within the physical boundaries of a canvas, referencing the old traditions of making art. Evoking a sense of freedom and movement, indicate how the paintings are formed. Evie’s creations rely on the tensions of knowing how to play with the materials to produce her vision versus the chance happenings that occur on the canvas. The success of her work should be measured by the stunning visuals she creates and the impact upon her viewers.

To find out more you can visit Evie’s pages

 
 
 

Chloe Gough

A combination of art and philosophy that questions the traditional representation of human personality has found a new contemporary resolution in Chloe Gough’s works. Chloe is an artist based in Scotland, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in Fine art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices in 2009. Since then she studied at the SMFA, Boston and University of Michigan for her Masters of Fine Art.

Her accomplishments include the Donald Dewer Arts Award, David and June Gordon Memorial Trust Award and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Purchase Prize.

Chloe looks at human figures, their poses, language and characteristics, merging traditional portraiture methods with philosophical context and theory.Her artworks emphasize the importance of body language and details in physical appearance that can easily stay unnoticed. Not giving the face to the viewer, she creates an increased awareness of human gestures, poses and physical expressions.

“By removing the gaze and also perhaps the face, I hope to draw more attention to the details present in posture, pose and physical quirks that appear in a person’s stance,” says Chloe. Using a variety of mediums, primarily painting and printmaking techniques, she reinvents traditional approaches in portraiture, accentuating another physical aspect of human personality.

Her artworks display careful observation of people. She creates portraits by replacing facial features with objects, attempting to find individuality through material representation and to perceive a person as a combination of tangible objects.

To find out more, visit this page http://www.chloegough.net/