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WEST CONTEMPORARY PRESENTS

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FOREWORD

FOREWORD

IA N PA L M E R

LIAM WEST

GENERAL MANAGER OF C A PI TA L C LU B

FOUNDER OF WEST CONTEMPORARY

This month witnesses our second exclusive art offering at the Capital Club in partnership with West Contemporary, and I have no doubt that our members will find it just as engaging and enlightening as our first.

It has been an exhilarating process to embark upon our partnership with Ian Palmer and his team at Capital Club and we are extremely honoured to now place the British artist Robi Walters centre-stage of our joint proposition.

To host the debut of the stunning British artist Robi Walters in Dubai is a great privilege and is thoroughly in-keeping with my personal desire to provide challenging experiences outside of the norm.

Having engineered the hugely successful debut of Carne Griffiths in Dubai last year, it is exciting to once again premiere one of the most prominent arists from the UK, in the Emirate of Dubai. At West Contemporary, we take genuine pride in providing art collectors the opportunity to experience artists’ works in exceptional spaces, and there is no better place to experience the transcendental power of Walters’s work than the exclusive environment of the Capital Club.

Our partnership with West Contemporary promises to go from strength-to-strength this year–giving members an exclusive first access to new works by leading European and British artistic talent, and providing them with the opportunity to dive deep into the arena of contemporary art through the programme of events that we have scheduled. Given the resounding success of our first show with the West Contemporary represented artist Carne Griffiths last year, I have no doubt whatsoever that exposure to the contemplative work of Robi Walters will only further enrich our members’ experience of the Capital Club and entrench a partnership devoted to a truly exclusive experience of art.

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At West Contemporary, we are hugely excited about Walters’s growing reputation as an international artist and are proud to have played a key role in his ascension to the portfolios of some of the art world’s most prestigious collectors. As such, we very much hope you will enjoy the transformative power of his unique artistry in this wonderful show.

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IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN-PAUL PRYOR We are living in an era of transformation, one in which we are beginning to learn more about the web-like nature of the universe, and indeed it’s hitherto only guessed at scale. Astronomers are now referring to the known mapped universe as Laniakea (Immeasurable Heaven)–an impossibly large expanse of superclusters of galaxies considered to be some 500billion light years across, in which our own Milky Way is but an infinitesimal blinking light. In this fascinating paradigm, we are learning more about time and our relationship to it at an exponential rate, which is precisely what sets aflame the imagination of Robi Walters–an artist who has carved a reputation for creating transcendental artworks that inspire profound contemplation on the nature of being. Walters is an artist concerned chiefly with a mystical exploration of the infinite self, employing principles of sacred geometry, and in particular the Fibonacci Spiral, to create intricately layered works that have obvious parallels in the fractal nature of the universe, and, indeed, the mosaic-like complexities of Islamic art. To be in the presence of one of Walters’s works is to be drawn into what he refers to as a portal, via which you will come to consider the temporality of your place in the universe and transcend the identity that society has prescribed to you in your temporal existence. It is, in no small way, his intention as an artist to take the viewer to a pure meditative space in which they will experience a unique kind of freedom, and consider what it truly means to be alive in the eternal moment. Interestingly, the material he chooses to employ in his labyrinthine lotus-like explorations of time are taken from the discarded flotsam of contemporary consumerism–emblematic of his belief that the only constant is flux, and that anything, can be transformed into something that can be termed beautiful. In a somewhat more material sense, the last two years have also been transformative for the West Contemporary represented artist. His work has stratospherically increased in value, and he recently opened his own small gallery in the heart of London’s Soho–a focal point not only for his work and curated group shows, but also a vibrant hub in which he can continue his work inspiring and mentoring young children from less advantaged backgrounds. It is clear testament to his singular talent that in his relatively short career, thus far, he has already collaborated the likes of U2 and Sir Paul McCartney in the charity sector, and counts some of the art world’s most prestigious collectors among his fans. Here, on the eve of his debut at the Capital Club in Dubai, Walters discusses not only the mystical inspiration that underpins so much of what he creates, but also gives us unique insight into how daily meditation and intermittent fasting have enabled him to overcome a difficult childhood, and achieve the impossible heaven of his dreams.

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Your work has a very meditative quality, where does that come from and how do you hope your work is received by the contemporary viewer? We live in a very disposable era of instant gratification and our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. It’s for that reason that the work I make is so influenced by my daily meditation. The process of actually making the work is very repetitive and takes a long time, so there is something wired in there that slows the viewer right down. The first question asked by everyone who views the work is: ‘How long did it take you to make that?’ And that’s not normally the first question one has when viewing a piece of art. But that’s really important to me because I’m interested to know what is actually forcing people to ask that question. Time is a very important part of the process of both making and observing the work–it’s all about creating a different relationship to time, and slowing people right down to absorb what they’ve just seen. How important is your personal practice of meditation to you as an artist? I once heard that we do what we value most and I meditate every day. It’s a hugely important part of my life. There have been other things that I’ve tried to practice and have in my life, but they have always tended to drop off–this discipline, however, it is something that I’ve been doing for 20 years. The cost of meditation is time–sitting down every single day and spending that quality moment with yourself–but the benefits of it are massive. To put it simply, meditation rebalances your electromagnetic field, allowing you to deal with the bombardment of information that is just coming at you every day in a much calmer manner. I cannot overemphasise how important that is in today’s age. In what ways does the work you are creating directly address the disposability of our era? I take things that people throw away and make them beautiful again, and that’s all about transformation, and challenging the way you perceive something–someone will look at something and say it’s a pile of rubbish, but I just see a beautiful piece of art that hasn’t been configured yet. I use sacred geometric patterns to reconfigure waste, and that process is inspired the thousand-petal chakra system–the meeting point between the infinite and the physical. Essentially, I’m creating a portal. I’m creating something in which time and space may or may not exist, so that when you look at it, you go on your own journey as an individual through the experience. I’m all about the slow-burn and it’s a long process to experience my work, it’s not an instant gratification thing. When you put the work on the wall in your home, it re-calibrates and resets the energetic field in the room–at least that is my intention.

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Why is an exploration of sacred geometry so integral to your practice?

How do you think your work will be received in Dubai?

Like in nature, geometry provides my work with fundamental structure and building blocks from which I can be more creative and fluid. I’ve always been fascinated by patterns - how the repetition of shape and form can create a whole different structure. I’ve titled this show “Chorus” which references repetition and one element (be it a voice or a petal) when multiplied, can create a powerful, unified sound and beauty.

I’m very excited to show in Dubai because I’ve never been there before. I’ve always been fascinated by the aesthetics of Islamic geometrical patterns and love the link to geometry in my own work. In this way, I’m hoping the audience there will be able to relate to my art. I also look forward to learning more about a culture very different from my own.

Why do you think these mystical notions of being are so important to you? I had a very traumatic experience. At the age of five I was separated from my family, so my whole sense of safety–family, environment, school, toys, everything–had gone. The only thing that I had left was myself, and the ability to reflect on what had happened. I spent years and years questioning internally. I was an introvert and I was traumatised, but the voice in the mind never stops–even if you’re quiet, something is still there percolating in your mind. There was a real turning point that came around the age of sixteen, where I was lying on my bed, and I was asking ‘who am I… what am I…’ on constant repeat, and suddenly, it was almost like I popped into this non-physical kind of thought-realm. It was then that this thought came to me that ‘I’m a vibration’ and I realised that my vibration is within another vibration that is within another vibration, and then that actually none of us are separate vibrations, we’re just all vibrating at slightly different frequencies. I really believe you can enter an unusual place when you’re asking a repetitive mantra-like question, which is about your core, fundamental, identity.

How important is recognition to you as an artist? I’m always aware that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and I’m really not trying to. I’m not here to wake everyone up. It’s good to know that when the right person looks at my work, they see something that switches them on, It’s also 100% ok with me if people are just drawn to the pure aesthetics of my pieces. I was a people pleaser when I was young because I was moved around so much in the care system. I wanted to make everyone else happy at the cost of myself and, of course, that strategy does not work. It’s taken me most of my life to realise that I can only be me, and hopefully that is reflected in my work. If someone doesn’t like the work, then I’ll always try to move on to a conversation that is constructive. I could probably give a little bit more information that may change someone’s perspective, but I’m not here to convince someone to like something– that’s not my intention. It’s enough for me that some people go into a very personal journey with my work, and that is very special.

In terms of contemporary art, what kind of work inspires you? My favourite art is abstract art and abstract painting. I absolutely love it. The part that I really explore in my own mind when I see abstract work is the question of why do I love something– and it’s always something about the balance of textures that I just can’t explain. It’s absolutely the same with a piece of food, or even with a personality–there are just so many intangible grey areas in what attracts us. When it comes to art I can say what I really like, but I can’t really say what element in it attracts me.

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C HA NG E T H E BE AT

ETERNAL JOURNEY

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

UAE 75,000

UAE 75,000 W E S T

C O N T E M P O R A R Y

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HIGHER REGION

RAINBOWS

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

UAE 75,000

UAE 75,000 W E S T

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S OM E DAY

YOU CAN DO IT BABY

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

UAE 75,000

UAE 75,000 W E S T

C O N T E M P O R A R Y

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TOM O R ROW C OM E S TO DAY

W E A R E A L L M A D E O F S TA R S

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2018

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2017

UAE 75,000

UAE 75,000

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GOLD LOVE RIDDIM

GAZZILLION EAR

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 122cm x 122cm  2018

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

UAE 75,000

UAE 30,000 W E S T

C O N T E M P O R A R Y

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MINNIE’S LAMENT

D I F F E R E N T, N O W

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

UAE 30,000

UAE 30,000 W E S T

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NOBODY CAN STOP WE

ONE BLOOD

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

UAE 30,000

UAE 30,000 W E S T

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T H A T S T H E WAY L O V E I S

365 BOOK

Card, Spray Paint, Glue on Plywood 61cm x 61cm  2017

Individually hand painted cover Limited edition of 500 Signed by the artist

UAE 30,000

AED 2,500

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A B O U T R O B I WA L T E R S Robi Walters is fast-becoming one of the most recognised names on the emerging Global art scene. His mesmerising creations focus on geometry and the golden ratio, exploring inner space and the calm he seeks in his daily meditation practice. Over the past decade, his oeuvre has singlehandedly communicated the art of transformation, employing discarded materials to create a unique commentary upon consumerism, consumption and waste. In the intricate and multilayered spiral collages he creates, everyday materials are recycled into thousands of tiny, hand-crafted petals, which are then painstakingly layered into the lotus shape; a symbol related to enlightenment. His works not only display his dedication to the meditative repetition involved in their creation, but also to the sense of infinity and calm he seeks to engender in the viewer. Walters’s growing reputation as a leading light in the contemporary scene has already witnessed him undertake collaborations with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and U2 to raise funds for various UK charities, and his collectors include the likes of Bryan Adams, Usain Bolt, Thandie Newton, Michael Bublé and Stellon Skargard. His signature approach to form was celebrated in 2015 when he won the Daily Telegraph’s award Top 15 Creatives in The UK in the arts category. Throughout 2018, Robi Walters will be exhibiting his work in London, Dubai, Paris and Los Angeles.

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C H O R U S F OR MOR E I N F OR M AT ION PL E ASE C ON TAC T

LIAM WEST L IA M @ W E ST- C O N T E M P O R A RY. C OM +44 (0) 203 601 6910 +44 (0)7912 220 456

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Robi Walkers Chorus Show Catalogue 2018  

Robi Walkers Chorus Show Catalogue 2018  

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