34: Priscilla Watkins
What is your background? Ex-magazine designer. Mum. Office escapee.
Who is your inspiration? Brockwell Lido – if you consider it to have the attributes of a person. Many do! The first pool painting came from taking pictures of my children in the shallow end of the lido on a disposable underwater camera. Lido light is very special. It falls directly onto the water so it has a special intensity and an endless fascination for me, especially when it interacts with the human figure. It has quite a transcendent quality. A real tonic for the soul! I try to celebrate two things in my paintings, the light and the people. London needs spaces where people can connect.
Light creates feelings. Light and darkness working together. You cannot have one without the other and its combination triggers an emotional response in the brain. Also, the underwater pictures often show a figure from the head down, which for me symbolises the unconscious, that ignored bit of ourselves. It reminds the viewer that they can always be peaceful and themselves, even when it’s noisy up top.
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? Rembrandt. Edward Hopper. Vermeer. The ones who work with the light. David Hockney. Still questing. Recently Bill Viola. Frank Bowling. Anni Albers. The fierce ones, the passionate enthusiasts, the irascible loners.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? It depends on the image. Some paintings want to be small. Some scream to be enormous and you have to talk them down from the side of the house and into the studio. I also work in watercolour pencil and mixed media and prints. In oils I can really explore the immense subtlety and prismatic quality of the lido light when it hits flesh. I can paint whole rainbows in a single shoulder! With the mixed media I wanted to find a way of creating this without always referring to a photo so I started experimenting with texture and randomly created folds in cartridge paper. I then draw a figure from my imagination and set it on the painted paper, with its own movement and shadow. The paperpools let me play with humour and character in really exciting ways.
What would you really like to do with your art? Bring joy.
One other rather important question; why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? We’re both Brixton! This way to the beach!
33: Donna Leighton
What is your background? I was born in Harlow where art by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were given prominent position in the Town Centre. I never forgot these sculptures and have come to realise the importance of access to art for all, not in a rarefied area but in an everyday spot.
Who or what is your inspiration? My practice is the act of remembering. I sometimes use a mathematical process I call Breeding squares as a tool for recollection. I am a great admirer of the emotional delicacy of the work of Agnes Martin. I enjoy process and repetition. The mathematical element leads me into areas such as Fibonacci in nature, and replication in sea shells.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? My work is small when I am evoking intimacy, increasing in size when it is necessary to progress a maths process. I have been exploring the infinity of breeding squares in my studio, but space restrictions have meant I am currently unable to take the breeding squares beyond a 1.9 metre canvas.
What would you really like to do with your art? My dream is to expand and thoroughly demonstrate the beauty of the breeding squares process.
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? Studio 73 is a rare platform for emerging artists, generously giving space in a busy central hub, where art can be seen as people go about their everyday shopping and work.
32: Gina DeCagna
What is your background? I grew up in New Jersey, just outside New York City, and I used to live and work in Philadelphia for some years before moving to London a year ago to start working internationally. I had careers in publishing (in editorial for books and magazines) and then arts administration, and I ran a creative group called Symbiosis (2012–2016) that was both a publication and curatorial platform for collaborations between artists and writers. Now I’m doing an MFA degree at Goldsmiths.
Who or what is your inspiration? I pay attention to artists who incorporate text into their work or think through language. I read lots of different writers and poets. I get excited about writers or text-based artists who think about the materiality of printed language and form; this also intersects with linguistic and grammatical concerns around syntax. I love listening to live jazz (especially with sax!) to encourage experimentation and improvisation when I’m composing stuff myself.
I’ve been revisiting work by William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and some of the other Beats recently, especially with fold-ins and cut-ups. Among more contemporary circles, I’ve been interested in what Erica Baum has been doing with dog-earring book pages and poet Derek Beaulieu has been doing with concrete poetry and experimental novels. Here in London, I enjoy following who’s making stuff with Book Worksand a variety of experimental and independent publishers that descend upon art or indie book fairs. Some treasure troves: Siglio Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, Broken Dimanche Press, and of course UbuWeb.
What would you really like to do with your art? It’s always changing, and I’m working more and more across media and disciplines. Installations have become my jam since installations are inclusive of all the media and disciplines you can work in. Right now, I say I’m making contemporary art influenced by architecture, language and literature, semiotics, and philosophy. I’m constantly collaging; paper and glue are at my service. I’m going to try working more with sound and spoken word next.
Why Studio 73? I thought Studio 73 was the coolest gallery when I discovered it! It’s local to Brixton, but there’s something strongly global about that — ‘glocal’ as some people like to call it — with everyone and all the shops in Brixton Village coming from different pockets of the world. I feel comfortable here, welcomed. And I love creating things that engage the public and show the power of art, especially work that can speak to many kinds of people. It’s been a great starting point for my international, cross-cultural adventure as an artist, with so much vibrancy inside Studio 73 and just outside it.
I’ve been leading ‘Creative Writing through Art’ workshops at Studio 73, and it’s been super fun to meet local Brixton writers and use the artists’ prints in the shop to stimulate new thinking and writing. One writer is coming all the way from Argentina to attend a workshop later in August!
31: Ted Dave
What is your background? I came to photography in my twenties, drifted away, came back. I taught myself web design as the first digital cameras arrived, the visual elements of both suddenly appealed, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since. I learnt composition from going to the cinema and colour from wandering around the Tate. Young, I studied politics and then later cultural studies; in retrospect I was compelled by the need to know why. Photography helps me ponder that.
Who is your inspiration? I’m inspired by Aldous Huxley’s ‘Perennial Philosophy’, the humanist writings of Jack Kornfield, by the essence of the Christian message communicated to us as infant school children, the stillness at the top of the hill. Taking pictures shifts me to a place of attentiveness, at its best I can disappear into the present moment.
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? Both Mark Rothko and James Turrell each in their own way bring us closer to the divine. I recently saw sculptor David Nash’s Cardiff show. His video work, mapping the evolution of his land based work over forty years was amazing, another facet of the creation we all inhabit.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? All my images are 24″x16″. I’m asking the viewer to consider the small details the camera captures. A cigarette butt, the crease of an awning, staining on concrete. Printing at two feet wide helps us to see these things, to consider everything as important and in its own way beautiful.
What would you really like to do with your art? In the words of my kid sister ‘you really seem to capture a moment that stirs one’s emotions’. Followed by three heart-eyed emojis. That’d be great.
One other rather important question; Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? This is easy, Studio 73’s patron is a luv, a pure mensch. Thank you.
30: Jose Gomez
What is your background? I started studying Fine Art in Seville at the Art School. I moved to London in 2000 with the new millennium, I studied Sculpture at the Camberwell College of Arts, obtaining a BA in 2012. Since then, I combine my artistic creativity between sculptures and paintings; my work has been shown in several solo and group exhibitions around London and Spain recently.
Who is your inspiration? This series of paintings, ‘Flamencas’, has been inspired by Spanish painters, such as Goya, Julio Romero de Torres and Velazquez , who have shaped the image of Andalusia women in their creations throughout history. The other paintings from the series ‘Chulas’ have been inspired by the fashion and movie magazines of the ‘50s and ‘60s. The bright colours of David Hockney’s paintings and the Pop Art movement inspired my colour choice for these paintings.
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? The main organization that inspired and helped me to develop my artistic career was Salome Gallery. I had several temporary exhibitions and a permanent exhibition there with some of my previous paintings at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). Mary Salome, who used to run the gallery has inspired me positively.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? I picked those sizes because I think they are the perfect format I was looking for when I started this collection. The large portrait sizes show the ideal splendour of the medium and the works.
What would you really like to do with your art? I would like my art to be seen and admired by all kinds of people with enjoyment and pleasure. I would also like to have great shows around the world and find nice new homes and public spaces for them to live forever.
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? I want to show at Studio 73 because it is a fabulous space, a little gem that shines in one of the most colourful and lively locations in London. I love Brixton Village Market because of its diversity of cultures. I like Studio 73 because it gives great opportunities to independent artists, the curator Adrian Flower is a friendly person. I love the concept of the galler and the quality of its projects are excellent.
29: Andy Lester
What is your background? I graduated in Graphic Design and have always worked commercially in the branding industry. Painting and drawing has often been my creative outlet when I need a break from clients.
Who is your inspiration? The oldies like Miro, Matisse and Picasso and even John Lennon’s old drawings.
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? Geoff Mcfetridge is great, love his stuff. A nice subtle humour floats my boat.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? Because I think art should be affordable, therefore I’m not going to create really awkward sizes so people have to go and get custom frames made.
What would you really like to do with your art? Help people feel like kids again.
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? I’ve spent chunks of my life living in Brixton. I like its rebellious nature of the community. It feels great to be showcasing there.
28: Tilly Aviram
What is your background? I am a graphic designer, experienced at packaging design, having worked in London in large advertising agencies, I have at the same time been working on illustration and collages, I have exhibited in; London, Birmingham, Margate and Cornwall. I moved to Cornwall, where I have been working on a recent set of collages. I use vintage material, cut-up collages and digital inspiration, forms and shapes, to create dream like worlds. Spitalfields market is my favourite place to go!
Who is your inspiration? My inspiration is the vintage world, of Hollywood glamour, I am interested in the technological advances that lie parallel to the portrayal of women in this world, film stars and the old-world glamour, taking this world in to the modern world, gives the viewer a moment of escape.
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? I love various artists, I especially like Robert Rauschenberg and his methods of using found materials to create 3D artworks. I am also very inspired by Maria Rivans and The Peepshow Collective, a group of illustrators.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? I have chosen various sizes for the artworks, the photo etchings are slightly smaller than the other works, they take a long time to ink up and create! I have taken to a medium size as I feel most comfortable working within that space.
What would you really like to do with your art? I would like to keep on creating and experimenting, and taking my collages, to become paintings, that’s the next step!
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? Brixton is such a hive of activity and different cultures, I think it would be great to see the vintage and retro come to Studio 73 amongst the hustle and bustle. Studio 73, is also very open to having new artists, and I think that’s great as an artist to become part of that.
26: Andrew Gibson
I live in South London. I’ve always liked art and music. Language is open to misinterpretation. Art and music are open to interpretation.
So far I’ve made a living as a psychiatric nursing assistant, an artist, a driver, a musician, an art therapist and a bill-posterer, among other things. Often more than one at a time.
I’ve worked a lot in the dark, and come across light in many forms…I’m a bit obsessed with it. I like the energy of it; how it feels like hope…like truth…like nurture, like goodness, like the beginning of things. I like that time of day when the sun’s light and the city lights co-exist equally. Because co-existence is creativity. Things set each other off…Colours sing, differences resonate, and for twenty minutes everything, and everyone is a jewel. .
Travelling around London in the small hours, I feed off this light. I imagine a spark in things…old street lamps, hospital lights, neon signs…stuff I find discarded around the city. I piece them together and paint on them scenes that they were once part of, so they can glow with memory, place and purpose. Sometimes we can’t see the light inside us, and it’s up to others to value it until we can.
I make these things because they feel too beautiful to stay in my head, to commemorate stuff, and at times to make a point. The globes are a representation of a “globular” approach to people and things, which I believe is closer to the truth than a single linear perspective.
As far as influences are concerned, like most people, they are many and varied; the classics Rembrandt and the Dutch, Whistler and London, Van Gogh and Hopper’s night cafes, Hokusai and japanese woodcuts, as well as advertising posters and formats, Andre Breton and islamic light calligraphy, stencilling and street art.
I live in Tooting now. For most of my life my home was Brixton. It’s great to be able to return to my old haunts and show some of my artwork. I think Studio 73 is perfectly placed to reach into the heart of Brixton. A kind of place between indoor and outdoor. I like “between” things, where things overlap. Like I say, that’s where things happen.
25: Fleur Simon
What is your background? So I grew up in London. I attended two foundation courses; one at Central Saint Martins UAL, and one on scholarship to Paris College of Art. I then completed my Fine Art BA at City & Guilds of London Art School, where I worked in ceramics and painting.
Who is your inspiration? Others artists inspire my work. For example, Ryan Sullivan’s material use and Julian Stair’s concepts. It’s great to take your favourite elements from each and combine them. I liked Wolfgang Tillman’s Freischwimmer series so this inspired me to play with depth and inky imagery.
Can you provide an example of an organisation that inspires you? Marguerite is a great organisation that runs networking events for women in the arts. Seeing what they’re up to gives me motivation.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? All the scales are relatively small. I did this as I find the pigment is very strong in these works so I wouldn’t want them to be too overwhelming.
One other rather important question; Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? I think it’s a fantastic space, in a bustling and vibrant location. I have enjoyed the work that has previously been shown, and would be so happy to contribute to it!
24: Scott Bauer
It’s great fun to see the product of a particular period of creativity in one space; I am delighted to show some of my most recent paintings at Studio 73. When I am working in the studio it is sometimes hard to fully understand what I am attempting to achieve with a particular group of paintings. Since I work on a series of canvases in tandem, meaning and relationships emerge slowly.
In my latest paintings I am exploring the relationship between two aspects of my work that have fascinated me for years: linear formalism and naturalism. Namely, how can I reconcile an illusory space that is both a formal system and an evocation of nature? Sometimes the relationship is expressed through a particular chromatic palette in a formal rhythm of lines. Sometimes the relationship is expressed through the literal fading away of a formal system into the surface of the canvas or a highly saturated colour ground. Creating an illusory space where these twin aspects of my work can coexist is what excites me as an artist.
22: Lisa Pettibone
What is your background? I’m originally from California with a background in graphic design and explored art in my time off, initially taking glass making courses. Many years ago I moved to London (to work in design) and eventually got a BA in 3D Design in glass from UCA Farnham in Surrey and began making abstract sculpture (I now live in Surrey). Recently I graduated from Central Saint Martins from the MA Art and Science course where I investigated gravity and how it emerges in art.
How and why did you gravitate toward printmaking? Its graphic qualities are enticing and as a former designer I’m attracted to its crispness and ability to hold colour. At CSM I reconnected with the medium and found it a great vehicle for my photos and desire to explore imagery juxtaposed with shape and colour. Also I was compelled to break out of the 2D space print occupies by pushing it into a 3D space through cutting and bending. This is a way of letting light into the print space. My background as a sculptor comes through here.
Who is your inspiration? Bridget Riley, Rana Begum, Olafor Eliason, Katie Paterson
Can you provide an example of an artist or organisation that inspires you? Lumen Studios London, an artist’s collective working with themes of astronomy and light. I’m exhibiting in their Crypt space at St John’s Church on Bethnal Green in September. They have brought me into contact with some very special artist and provided me with wonderful opportunities.
Why did you pick the sizes that you have chosen as a format? I like working big so don’t often produce small screen print work. When I’m testing an idea, I work smaller to start with then build up. Sometimes there are limitations to size – I found the blend on Undercurrent quite tricky at that size.
What would you really like with your art? I’d like to do an important public 3D commission this year with accompanying screen prints.
One other rather important question; Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? It was a wonderful opportunity to pull together a body of work from the last two years and focus on exposure for my works on paper such as screen printing.
21: Bayne Blackwaterbluez
What is your background? Born in the south of the UK. Independently studying, learning and creating artwork since early childhood. Inspired from an early age by graffiti writers and American vintage illustrators I began to practice in many different mediums. With countless markers at my disposal I developed a keen interest for black and white illustration incorporating attention to detail and labour intensive techniques. With a keen interest for history, art and music from times gone by my artwork reflects my own take on these subjects.
Who is your inspiration? Chaz Bojorquez, Charles Dana Gibson, Waylon Jennings, Maynard Dixon, Jeremy Fish. Just to name a few, however the list goes on.
Why do you pick the sizes that you work in? No other reason than the fact that each piece and size, worked best for the concept.
What would you really like with your art? I’m still figuring that one out.
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? Being a fan of the artists Studio 73 stock/have shown in the past i would be proud to be in such great company.
20: Oli Fowler
What is your background? At 19 I studied fashion and textiles at St Martins only to drop out a year later. I returned to uni at the age of 30 afters years of different jobs. I guess you could say I’m a late starter. I always knew I wanted to be creative but didn’t know how to make the cross over. It was only until I just dived in and accepted I was gonna be scraping the barrel for a while that things started to happen but it didn’t happen overnight.
How and why did you gravitate toward collage? I’ve never been really good at drawing, I don’t have the patience for it – I prefer to flick through ephemera and chop stuff up, lay it side by side then boom, you have an idea. I’m fast by nature and collage works well for me in that way.
Who is your inspiration? I loved the street art scene and artists from around 2007, this is what really got me thinking about making my own work – particularly Adam Neate’s work, I loved the way he churned art out and left it on the streets for people to find. He’s an amazing artist too. Other artists include Clifford Richards, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg etc – I mainly just like adverts and music photography from the 70’s and 80’s.
Why do you pick the sizes that you work in? I pick screen print sizes that people can easily frame up, I understand that most people like to get the work up on the wall as soon as they purchase it so I make it easy for them. I mostly work in A1 because it’s more of a challenge for me to print and looks bold and amplified when finished but sometimes I also print in B2 (standard poster size) and occasionally the odd A0!
What would you really like with your art? All I want from my art is enough money to support my craft so I can continue to do what I love doing.
Why do you want to have your show at Studio 73? It’s great to have a show at 73, it’s a prime location and I get to do a show South London, it’s rare that the people down south have a chance to see my work up close and personal.
19: Celia Martin
As an academic specialising in cultural studies, I am fascinated by music, film, art and politics in relation to issues of gender, class, nationhood or identity, which have inspired some of my works. I am also concerned with the passing of time and existential predicaments; for example, how we seek beauty as an anti-dote to decay, the different ways in which we all bear the load of life and the sometimes oppressive feeling of solitude. My faceless silhouettes and anonymous characters capture the universality of these concerns, sometimes with pathos, sometimes with humour.
I was born in Madrid, and as a young person growing up in the 70s/80s I became fascinated with the transformation of ‘the city’ during the transition to democracy after Franco’s dictatorship. To reflect this process, I took up photography and focused on capturing urban scenes of libertarian Barcelona in the late 70s, where I lived for a year, and the wild atmosphere of ‘La movida madrileña’ of the 1980s Madrid (a counter-culture movement that emerged in the aftermath of Spanish transition). In 1985 I moved to London where I continued photographing the spectacle of the ‘foreign city’ with my new ‘Polaroid’. Discovering the work of the Dada collage artist Hannah Hoch opened the door to a new form of expression that really suits my artistic style. Some of my works are imbued with the theoretical concepts that I study and teach.
Why do I want to exhibit Studio 73? My answer is a bit anecdotal and personal,I came to London following David Bowie’s steps, my idol, and by chance I ended up living in Brixton for many years. Brixton market is iconic for me for so many reasons, where to start? and to have the opportunity to show my work in a gallery like Studio 73 in the centre of the market is pure bliss. Muchas gracias.
18: Roman Perona
Perona’s Luminous Numinous explores the concept of the soul in portrait photography as the light radiation of a transpersonal energy. The individuals portrayed in Luminous Numinous don’t belong to a common demographic group or social condition. They are random people from different backgrounds, age segments, nationalities, sexual orientations, beliefs, and political affiliations. This alluring artist is interested in bringing to light the divine nature of human beings.
The production of the images followed a creative process in the form of a liturgy. All participants came to Perona’s London Fields studio individually at sunset wearing a blue garment as a symbol of eternity and divinity. For two hours, every sitter remained with their eyes closed under a single spotlight. The time between takes sometimes was over ten minutes to allow the person photographed to be progressively submerged into a meditative state. The colour-filtered light and the soundscape programmed by Perona were liturgical devices to allow the souls of the sitters to manifest themselves in front of the camera.
16: Eleonora Sher
Studio 73 presents a new solo exhibition by Eleonora Sher showcasing a selection of her most recent work.
Part of a larger ongoing research project around Landscape and Memory her practice explores the common link in human attachment to landscape and how we find identity in landscape and place. Exploring the parallels of the landscape, as the embodied mind and memory, and landscape as a physical place. How ‘landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.’ Landscapes are the nucleus of our intangible values that form our very existence, consisting of both individual and collective memories.
Eleanora has developed a unique technique which brings together digital photography and screen printing on yarn. The process starts with choosing the right subject matter – exploring how different compositions, light quality, and other elements affect the overall quality of the image. After this, test prints on paper are run before moving on to thread.
Eleonora Sher is a multidisciplinary artist who works predominantly with photographic and printing processes and large mixed media installations.
With a background in Psychology (BSc) and PGCE in Teaching (UCL) Eleonora returned to complete a masters in Art and Science at Central Saint Martins.
15: Kenny Mutombo
Kenny Mutombo is a 26-year-old artist from Paris, originally from Congo DRC she studied Fine-Art at LaSorbonne and came to London 4 years ago to study Digital Photography at Ravensbourne University London .
She uses photography and fashion to develop and discuss black beauty in attempt to break the mainstream views.
I decided to go in my country Congo for the first time at 24 for my last university project. I was concerned that every time you heard of DRC Congo it was about a killing or an image of death and misery. Even without being there I knew there was more to see. My work always had influences of Fashion and it’s been the guiding thread of my work. My aim with this collection is to show another side of DRC Congo where people are friendly, happy and colourful – a world where Africans are able to do so much with so little.
The collection includes images of Kenny’s family, the Kinshasa arts scene and a group called “The Panthers” part of La Sape movement very present in lots of African countries but mostly in Congo. The movement embodies the elegance in style and manners of colonial predecessor “Dandies”.
14: John Ball
Based in Romford (London, U.K) and working primarily in the South East of the United Kingdom, contemporary artist John Ball creates unsettling images of a dystopian suburban landscape.
John is probably best known for his appearance on the Sky Arts ‘Landscape Artist Of The Year’ television show where he was fortunate enough to place as finalist. ‘John Ball’s work was a like a breath of fresh air on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year in 2017 with its unique sense of mood and use of colour. The melancholic scenes that he constructs are poetic in themselves and full of story, to the point that they demand your attention and hold it very firmly indeed.’ (Kathleen Soriano, curator)
13: Laura Obon
Laura Obon makes abstract collages out of paper. She is interested in the concept of seeing Art as a tool, described in the book written by Alined Botton and John Armstrong Art as Therapy.
Obon grew up in Tenerife and moved to the U.K in 1998. She completed in 2003 a BA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and moved to London in 2006 to undertake an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts. Obon is based in London where she works as an Art Teacher and develops her career as an artist.
12: Barrie J Davies
10: In Dialogue
Studio 73 presents “In Dialogue”, a thematic group exhibition in celebration of International Women’s Day curated by Ivana D’Accico.
“In Dialogue” aims to bring a more intimate and introspective vision of feminism, which considers our relationship with ourselves, as an essential element, while projecting our personalities into the world.
Four women artists show different aspects of a process oriented towards awareness of one’s potential and self worth, in order to leave cultural constructs behind and pursue a mindful dialogue that doesn’t confine solely on gender, but takes in consideration daily aspects of a person’s life.
The exhibition runs from the 8th to 17th March.