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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 200cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 220cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 220cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 200cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 200cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 200cm


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‘Record Separator’ oil on linen 2011 200cm x 200cm


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‘Tony Altonen and Rick Steelman (Black)’ 2009 pen and ink 148mm x 210mm


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‘Raphael’ 2010 pen and ink 210mm x 297mm


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‘Donatello’ 2010 pen and ink 210mm x 297mm


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above:‘Gil Thurman and Nick Wales (Black)’ 2009 pen and ink 148mm x 210mm opposite:’Writing’ 2009 pen and ink 174mm x 225mm


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Matt Cook H

T h e T ime ly mu r d e r of N au g h T y r ic o

‘Ideas’ 2009 pen and ink on exercise book 174mm x 225mm


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It

had been another difficult car journey, in a difficult week. But just pulling up the drive to Pauline's house Mumsy began feeling herself again. On the back seat, little Rico sat looking out of the window, waiting for her to open the door. He's like the pope, she thought, a very precious person in need of very particular treatment. Rico wore no seat belt, he refused, but this did not worry her. She believed that he was charmed. For an instant, her heart welled unbearably. "Come on Mumsy. Don't be sluggish." he said in his breathy voice. Nodding, she hoisted herself out and opened his door. "Hell-ooo!" Pauline's voice rang across the gravel and out she came, arms open, dress billowing. Rico accepted his Aunt's embrace without complaint. It was a necessary ritual, he understood that. Like being frisked entering an important building, and he was gracious in allowing it. As long as relations were strictly below the waist, and he need not encounter the strange bumps on her face in any way, he was happy to oblige. Pauline played her part with all the bluster and dozen-arm fussing of a textbook adoring relative. It was as well-rehearsed an act as any in her domestic arsenal, and she clearly took pleasure in being effective. It reminded her of beating dust from a carpet. Feeling her grip slacken, Rico wriggled free and began towards the house, resuming the half-bored, vaguely contemptuous exploratory strut that he adopted on every visit anywhere. "You're just in time for lunch" said Pauline, clutching her sister's forearm affectionately. Feeling the muscle stiffen, she realised her mistake. Had he heard? No, thank god. Pauline watched her nephew, a stripy sweater taut around his chubby torso, meandering through her garden. It was a wonderland that made most visiting children wail and sprint hysterically. But Rico was not like most children. To discuss food around him was to gamble recklessly with the day ahead. He had eaten nothing but bread and butter since the morning of his 6th birthday, over a year ago. On special occasions he would allow dishes to be served in front of him, on the understanding that he would not be expected, or encouraged, to eat it and that bread and butter would be provided as well. Should this, or any other of his clearly stated requirements not be met, Mumsy and Daddy knew what to expect. The doctor had been consulted several times, but his private, man-to-man chats with Rico had not gone well. This is how it had all begun. As they entered the drawing room, Pauline breathed a loud sigh of relief, so loud she thought it best to disguise it as a grand exhalation of satisfaction. "Aaahnow who wants a cup of tea?" "Ooh, lovely" said Mumsy, poring over some new arrivals in the spoon cabinet.


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"Alice? Tea love?" Pauline was speaking to a girl sat at a small table at the far end of the room. Rico watched her from behind a tall-backed armchair. Cousin Alice. One of a homogenous gaggle of older female cousins Rico had ignored stories about for many years. A vague and shifting notion of girlhood, none of them seemed interesting enough to waste energy on speaking to or remembering or making solid in his mind. Alice. Was she a nurse? At least two of them were. She was surely the blandest of them, all fleshy biceps, pale yet dense looking. They bulged from her short-sleeved, rather outdated dress with none of the definition or hair of Daddy's. And yet, something unnerved Rico about them all the same. The dress was pink and beige. Her hair, straight and lank. Was she 14? She could be 21. She was reading, and eating something in fierce nibbles. She seemed just as functionless as Rico had always assumed them all to be. Rico himself liked to eat his bread and butter in great ripping mouthfuls, often too much to manage in one go. He had more than once been saved from choking to death, only to seize another cheek-bulger moments later. At the mention of tea, she stood. "Oh. Hello Aunty Margaret. Hello Rico. Yes I'd love some tea please, Mum." Her voice was sugary. She was boring. Rico yawned. __ They adjourned to the kitchen for the tea, it was cooler there, "and easier to clean up if there are any accidents" Pauline whispered behind her fist to Alice. With the pattern book open in front of her on the kitchen table, Mumsy excitedly outlined the day she envisioned to a half-listening Pauline, whose eyes were following Rico on his noisy tour of the kitchen. She did not mind the humming or the constant touching, but the faces he made caused the hair on her arms to bristle. "How was the drive?" said Pauline, carving the bread into thick wedges. "Did the A54 treat you kindly?" "Yes" said Mumsy, "though that can't be said for everyone, I'm afraid. Mumsy had a visit from 'Naughty Rico' at breakfast." Rico stopped walking, turned to face the ambush. The tribunal. "Wasn't I, darling?" "Aaaaah" pantomimed Pauline judiciously, folding her arms. Alice sat back in her chair. "But Nice Rico has come to stay for the rest of the day we hope, hasn't he?" Rico said nothing. Mumsy was concentrating hard. She hated Naughty Rico. He was a brutish menace, who turned her son, against his will, into a slobbering, screaming typhoon. She did not understand where he had come from, or how to get rid of him. It was because

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Low stalks Oh the low stalks rustle and their attendant griefs must I tremble lengthwise and struck clear through with girl parts or in faceless unknown inversion living my life for me so that I might live domestic A dying animal already dreaming and too late to get a last punch in © Tray Batey 2011

‘Ziggerat’ photography 2011 Phil Hale


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of him that 'Mumsy' had come into existence. A wholesome yin to Naughty Rico's distasteful Yang. Gradually over time Naughty Rico had gained concrete form, with clear and distinct preferences that Rico himself did not have, and knew nothing about. Naughty Rico was a stranger with whom he had never really been in the same room. He felt no responsibility towards him. No hatred, or loyalty. He was like a sometime relative. A cousin. He felt resemblance, but all else was obscure. Naughty Rico's arrival would be signalled by a contraction of his muscles; a leg would stiffen, a finger arch, and his alter ego would emerge to share his body. Rico would simply move across to the passenger seat and enjoy the ride. "How can a boy survive on just bread and butter? How is that possible? Why doesn't your hair fall out?" said Alice, nibbling at a slice of Rico's bread. Behind her, the kettle began to scream a warning visible on the faces of everyone else in the room. Pauline skilfully deflected the matter with a tangent into the questionable nutritional benefits of eating grubs in the Australian outback. Alice began to serve the tea. Rico rolled his head and fidgeted for a moment. He was unsure what had exactly just gone on, he was unsure where to look in rooms with people he didn't like. So he did not see Alice with the kettle until the very last moment. In one fluid action she brushed past him, the hot kettle touching his cheek for just an instant. His sharp squeal of pain was drowned out by the clattering pan of potatoes that, in his agony, he knocked from the nearby table. "Why? Why are you like this?" Mumsy said in a desperate voice that broke away to nothing. As surprised as any of them, she fell to her knees and began to collect the scattered potatoes from where they had rolled, her head bowed. A thick cloud of embarrassment invaded the room, filling every one of them with the same strange, silent dread. If Mumsy were to truly break, how would things carry on? She was a big, fat prop upon which everything rested. She did the job no-one else could ever do. Feeling that question enter him, and seeing his mother cry, Rico tried his best to answer her sincerely and realised he could not. He considered defending himself, but Alice had left the room in search of a mop and he knew it was pointless. Pauline, relieved that the disaster had been relatively small, joined Mumsy on the floor. "Mumsy can't keep doing this. I don't want to, but if Naughty Rico comes out again today" - Pauline's eyebrows twitched silent encouragement - "there will be no trip to The Gables this year. Do you understand?" Rico stood stiff and silent as the women scrubbed the starch water from around his feet. Somewhere far away, he thought he heard a familiar voice and the sound of metal vessels being struck.


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Tea was over. Alice and 'Nice Rico' were sent upstairs to the attic, to make friends and stack books. Rico went surprisingly obediently. He was happy to play in the charade of doing 'chores', like an aristocrat on the board of a business who attends meetings in order to continue receiving his salary. He would attend, but he would not work. Inevitably, big-armed Alice - being older - had been given the power to report back on his behaviour and 'watch out for Naughty Rico'. The visit had been conceived as an excuse for Rico to be exposed to her good influence, though privately Mumsy feared for Alice's life. As they walked, Alice insisted on holding his hand to lead him through the house. Her clammy palms were too much to bear, and his arm began spastic convulsions, like an eel wrestling free of a line. His fingers went slack as he tried to remove himself utterly from the hand-holding partnership but her grip held firm, grinding his knuckles together. She stopped. "What are you doing?" "I don't want to hold your stinking hand!" "You know you shouldn't treat your mother like that." Rico tried to read her peculiar expression, but she turned and dragged him onwards. It was a mundane task, stooping around under the low, angular ceiling, stuffing fistfuls of books from boxes onto shelves. The only satisfaction to be had was from slamming the heavy ones hard into place, and enjoying the boom it sent through the whole room. But when she forbade him from doing even that he gave a yowl and went to sit on the broken rocking horse. "Oh look. What's this?" Alice held in her hand a book of plays for children. "Look what I've found, Rico." "Found in your pocket. I saw you." "No, in this box actually. Let's perform one together." Rico found this suggestion so distasteful that he gagged, creating a kind of breathless hacking noise. "Play with me." said Alice. The first story was called The Dwarf and the Hunter. Alice played most of the characters, including all the animals, and the handsome hunter, a role Rico found more than convincing as she flexed her impressive biceps. As the Dwarf, he had few lines, most of them riddles designed to trick the hunter into falling asleep. She made him stand on an up-turned box to do his speeches, and seeing Alice grinning every time he said a word - in the 'dwarf voice' she insisted that he use - he found his throat closing with hatred. It didn't take long for his arm to begin to twitch.

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"I'm warning you, I don't like this," he said. "And I'm warning you." Reaching over, she turned the small brass key in the small brass lock. Somewhere inside himself, Rico stepped aside. The tantrum was fabulous in its complexity and length. Teeth gnashing and arms flailing, Naughty Rico introduced himself to the room, span randomly, tossing books where he found them against the walls, slapping his palms against the window panes, pulling at his own hair. He was devastation personified, spitting and biting wildly at nothing, experimenting with a horrible glottal wailing from the throat, a trick learned from his experiments with his grandmother's cat. The whole spectacle continued much longer than anyone could have predicted, and when it did eventually come to a grinding, wheezing, tearful end, Rico awoke in a body that had been thoroughly abused, with a long paper-cut the length of his forearm. "I...I've cut my arm. It's bleeding." It was not an exclamation, but an instruction. He was shivering. He'd never had to wait this long after an episode before being swept up in tight cuddles before. It was very strange. Alice sat biting a cuticle with care. "Really?" She turned to look at him. "That was Naughty Rico was it? That was him?" "Yes!" "Oh. Well something definitely needs to be done there. Wouldn't you agree? I'd say he needs getting rid of." He tried to speak, but nothing was there. His lips simply formed an O. Alice extended a forefinger towards the hole, as if preparing to poke it inside. Somewhere downstairs they heard Pauline's voice calling them to lunch. Alice unlocked the door. Lunch was a stale affair. Mumsy and Pauline were doing all the usual things, and yet the time was dragging heavily. For Rico, it was unbearable. Never once had he been tormented by Naughty Rico and not had his hangover nursed with affection afterwards. He itched to tell Mumsy what had happened, and yet her threat about The Gables held him back. He watched Alice nibbling. She did not look at him once. The bread and butter was like ash in his mouth. As the plates were cleared, Alice went to the sideboard, cut a piece of fruitcake, robed it in brown paper and slipped it into her pocket. She then picked up a melon, felt its weight and tucked it under her arm. "Come on Rico." He tried to refuse, but his raw, aching throat made no sound. There was none of the strained hand-holding from earlier. He understood the subtle art of revenge even though he did not understand exactly what was happening around him.

‘Olaf Breuning: Ugly’ 2009 pen and ink on exercise book 210mm x 297mm


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His hatred of Alice was raw and soft and pliable, with every step he moulded it into a harder and harder thing, a weapon he might use in the privacy of the attic. But they did not go to the attic, this time she took him to a strange nook on the upper landing, a place he had never been and wished he had known about sooner. She crouched. "This naughty Rico business. It has to stop. I don't see any other solution. We have to murder him. Do you agree?" Rico decided at that moment that, despite everything, he liked Alice a lot. He felt a strange warm, tingling at the top of his legs at the suggestion of murder, as forbidden and mysterious a thing as he knew. It was the most seductive invitation he could possibly imagine, and the sense that he was about to receive an important new lesson completely drowned out any thoughts of revenge, or concern as to what it might actually entail. It felt as serious and thrilling as vandalising a piece of family furniture, hugely provocative and yet without any real long-term damage to anyone. She spat on her palm and insisted he do the same, before shaking his hand. Then she led him down the back staircase and out into the garden. The day had become overcast, but it was as new friends that they walked together to the far end of the garden. It was dark underneath the poplars and Rico's eyes began to strain as they foraged deeper and deeper into the wilderness where Pauline never tended. He watched Alice as close as he could, but his heart still leaped when she turned on him suddenly. "Get out you horrid boy," she shouted in his face. "Come here so you might face your fate!" Rico waited, wondering what, if anything, he should do. Alice closed her eyes to a squint. "Get out, I say," she went on, slipping her fingers through the soft, dark ringlets that covered his scalp, and gently grasping a healthy fistful. "I said come OUT!" With a jerk of her hand, she sent spasms of pain through Rico's right side. He went limp in her hand, a puppet that she maneuvered this way and that to her liking before dropping him like laundry to the ground. Rico gasped, a shrill little breath, and did his best to grin as he fought back the acid surge of tears. "Is it over? Is he gone?" said Rico. Alice held his face in her palms, and studied his eyes, the way a vet might with a dubious lamb. "No. I'm afraid not." Rico pressed one hand against his aching head, cocked the other as jauntily as he could manage on his waist. Alice stood straight, her face open and blank to him.


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"You're going to have to say it. Say 'Naughty Rico must die'. You must want him to die. It's the only way." There was a pause and Rico's lips began to twitch, each movement a different question that dared not slip out for fear of making things worse. Without meaning to, Rico felt the words she had demanded enter the world from somewhere inside him. "Good. Take off your clothes." Confused beyond reason, Rico obediently did as she asked and was soon stood naked except for his navy blue underpants, his numb feet tickled by the various plants that sat watching them. In an uncanny impression of Pauline, Alice gathered his clothes into a bundle, before arranging them like a person on the ground between them: trousers first, laid flat, then above them his shirt, arms crossed over the chest, and at his feet shoes and socks. She considered the arrangement for a moment, adjusting it here and there till the effigy was to her liking. Rico began to shiver uncontrollably. Slowly and deliberately, she approached him, taking as she advanced a small pen from her pocket. Without speaking, she began to draw on his face, neck and chest, a pattern he could not make out. "Your extremities are infected." "What? They are?" Rico wondered what 'extremities' were. "Why do you think I burned you with the kettle?" What little warmth Rico had retained in his body drained swiftly into the cool soil below. He realised, with a wave of nausea, that he was dealing with someone infinitely more sophisticated than he had appreciated. He heard the sound of scissor blades and wondered momentarily where Naughty Rico was in his hour of need. Was he gone? Would he have to endure the real villain's punishment himself? Feeling her hands leave his body, Rico opened his eyes to see Alice placing the melon from the kitchen at the neck of his shirt, a bulbous, featureless head. Several locks of his hair were lain over it. "I don't think I can do this after all, Cousin Alice." said Rico, his voice panicky, his own head lolling. "Please. I'm scared." There was no reply. From her pocket came matches. She lit one, and he took it with a shivering hand. For a second, he held it delicately over the ensemble, before Alice, with

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a sharp slap on the wrist, sent it fluttering down. They watched the body burn. For how long, he could not tell. "Find a boulder". Robotically he began to search, eventually finding one wedged under a soggy tree limb nearby. "He must die. It's time to kill him. You must kill naughty Rico!" Holding the rock gave Rico renewed clarity. He considered the scene as if stumbling on it from outside and was truly frightened for the first time. Could one of them die without the other? He felt a rush of feeling pass through him, a connection to Naughty Rico he had never felt before. He was angry with him, he felt exploited and silly. He began to moan, a long, soft note that seemed to hang in the air around them, mingling with the fading smoke. The note broke rhythmically, fast staccato breaths that became a gnashing of teeth. Still holding the rock in both arms, he flailed and thrashed at nothing. Through sobs he scolded Naughty Rico, threatened him, cursed him. For the first time ever he truly fought the boy who was a part of him, and the boy fought back until neither of them had strength to go on. Around him a soft wind beckoned the brittle leaves into a shimmering drum roll. "Do it, Rico." Alice said. Her eyes were cold and blank and open. And then she began to chant. "Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!" "Why? Why are you doing this?" As he said the words, they were snatched from his lips by the wind. Swinging the rock high over his head, Rico brought it down onto the melon. It smashed beautifully, bursting red blood and black seeds onto his face and feet. For a second, there was nothing. "Perfect" Alice said. "Well done." With her cardigan round his shoulders, and her thick fingers wrapped round his, they wandered back towards the house, Rico's charred trousers flapping crisply against his ankles. Rico concentrated on walking, fearing that if he did not he would crumble like a rotten thing. But it was with love that he held his guardian's hand. Of that he was certain. With her free hand Alice ate the fruitcake in neat nibbles. Back at the house, they did not talk. She washed the dust trailed with tears from his


T H E T I M E LY M U R D E R O F N A U G H T Y R I C O

face, wiped his hands and found him new clothes. When it was finished, she allowed him a moment to speak. But the moment passed. They discovered Pauline and Mumsy in the dining room, dismembering the weekend's papers in silence. A shabby box of mournful patterns sat discarded at their side. Rico dragged one of the twisted iron chairs from under the table, turned it to face away from them towards the window and sat delicately down. "Hello you two" Pauline said. "You've been awfully long. Have you been having fun?" "Has something happened?" said Mumsy. "Did Naughty Rico appear?" "Yes, but he won't be coming back" replied Alice, her eyes, like Rico's, fixed on the black trees outside. "Margaret, I hope you don't think me rude for saying this, but I think it's a very bad idea talking about Naughty Rico as if he were a different person. Rico is one person, and it is time he took responsibility. I think you should stop now and never mention him again if you really want things to be improve." For a moment, Mumsy considered her reply. She considered explaining all the methods she had tried, the times she had done as much before. But she was tired. And everything suddenly felt so unnecessary. "Rico?" The little boy turned and looked at her. Mumsy felt herself wilting. "Let's go home." "I'll wave goodbye from the window" said Pauline. Margaret drove them both home in silence. Rico fell instantly asleep, held carefully in place by his seat belt, his head drooping forward. Margaret fancied she saw a bald spot. So like the pope, she thought, giving in to liquid daydreams about bulletproof glass.

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'Used nails’' Photogram on obsolete photographic paper, mounted on aluminium 40” x 32”


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Sketchbook silver nitrate liquid light 60cm x 25 cm


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Sketchbook silver nitrate liquid light 60cm x 25 cm


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Sketchbook silver nitrate liquid light 60cm x 25 cm


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Superpure Jump the frame, fucker as path vacates before heel and toe or some trailing mark superlegitimate in its entirety, in stark and superpure trees hung with trash, with paper, with pale membrane of bag below a map of night a flooded field the stalks folded on themselves, up the stairs, swallowed whole in the black oblong of doorway and just as immediately expelled, a detonation seeming to take his place immediately Š Tray Batey 2011


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‘Pills from Lidl’' Cameraless enlargements on obsolete photographic paper 16” x 20 “


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Portraits from Photolita live darkroom performance 2010 20cmx30cm


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from the Ridley Road Series photographic print mounted on aluminium 36� x 28�


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from the Ridley Road Series photographic print mounted on aluminium 36� x 28�


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from the Ridley Road Series photographic print mounted on aluminium 36� x 28�


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Gunchick, 2012 Cyanotype on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper, 56cm x 76cm


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Urge Ourselves Under Urge Ourselves Under or anyone else or anyone opportunes pantaloons surging the ceiling in cartoon trapezoid before you can hear it a whipoorwill, a bird, a grotesque fry-up, a picture or some other bird Š Tray Batey 2011


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Monstrance 2012 Cyanotype on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper, 56cm x 76cm


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Hogweedchick, 2012 Cyanotype on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper, 56cm x 76cm


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A mouthed vacuum, an absence as the tent slung long, swung away on some looping capstan, looping, a dim withdrawal no shape, not the fruit on the trees or the salt in the milk be patient break the eggs in your mother's sink for an auspicious beast slow as a barge through a prehistoric sky a microscopic pellet sieved the head of a pale line reconstituting itself whole and flesh my little chickadee Š Tray Batey 2011


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Husseys Bag 2012 Cyanotype on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper, 55cm x 55cm


Gift 2012 Cyanotype on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper, 56cm x 76cm


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‘ Large Cloud-On Hackney #1,2010, Cyanotype on Somerset 300gsm watercolour paper, 64.5cm x 82cm


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Large Cloud-On Hackney #2,2010, Cyanotype on Somerset 300gsm watercolour paper, 64.5cm x 82cm


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Entropy and Some Masked Opportunist Someone has been dragging a heavy object through the grass. Can't make out the sex or frequency of inclination. Not much to go on yet just two temporary furrows. A pause there for weight adjustment, and again here to smoke a cigarette. Turkish. Available only at the import-export kiosk in Times Square, ruling out any American suspects. The security video turned up some unintentional innocence of hysterical accuracy. Š Colin James 2011


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Untitled Colour photographic print 66cm x 84cm


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‘Zagora #1’, Ouarzazate, Morocco, 2010 Silver gelatin split selenium toned lith print edition of 5 45cm x 17.5cm ‘Zagora #3’, Ouarzazate, Morocco, 2010 Silver gelatin split selenium toned lith print edition of 3 45cm x 17.5cm ‘Sahara desert #1’, Morocco, 2010 Silver gelatin split selenium toned lith print edition of 5 45cm x 17.5cm


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Silver Print In dark areas, with age, silver becomes visible at certain light angles. You have to look for it, but it is there. As you and I have found, silver prints which have been stored face to face, emulsion touching emulsion, will reveal little or no signs of silvering. But we have lain back to back, year after year and all our silver is on show. Š Sarah Hilary 2011


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New York snow series 2011 iphone


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‘Community Project’ 2010 oil on canvas 80cm x 60cm


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‘Hill’ oil on canvas 2010 61cm x 81cm


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‘Cleaners’ oil on canvas 2010 61cm x 80cm


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‘National Geographic’ oil on canvas 2010 60cm x 80cm


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‘ Theme Park’ oil on canvas 2010 80cm x 60cm


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‘In Your Own Village’ oil on canvas 2010 60cm x 80cm


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‘Family Dollar’ oil on canvas 2010 80cm x 60cm


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Arthur Machen H

ou T of The e ar T h

‘The construcation of a skull ship’ (detail) Tessa Farmer 2009 organic material and insects


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O U T O F T H E E A RT H

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here was some sort of confused complaint during last August of the ill behaviour of the children at certain Welsh watering-places. Such reports and vague rumours are most difficult to trace to their heads and fountains; none has better reason to know that than myself. I need not go over the old ground here, but I am afraid that many people are wishing by this time that they had never heard my name; again, a considerable number of estimable persons are concerning themselves gloomily enough, from my point of view, with my everlasting welfare. They write me letters, some kindly remonstrance, begging me not to deprive poor, sick-hearted souls of what little comfort they posess amidst their sorrows. Others send tracts and pink leaflets with allusions to “the daughter of a wellknown canon”; others again are violently and anonymously abusive. And then in open print, in fair book form, Mr Begbie has dealt with me righteously but harshly, as I cannot but think. Yet, it was all so entirely innocent, nay casual, on my part. A poor linnet of prose, I did but perform my indifferent piping in the Evening News because I wanted to do so, because I felt that the story of “The Bowman” ought to be told. An inventor of fantasies is a poor creature, heaven knows, when all the world is at war; but I thought that no harm would be done, at any rate, if I bore witness, after the fashion of the fantastic craft, to my belief in the heroic glory of the English host who went back from Mons fighting and triumphing. And then, somehow or other, it was as if I had touched a button and set in action a terrific, complicated mechanism of rumours that pretended to be sworn truth, of gossip that posed as evidence, of wild tarradiddles that good men most firmly believed. The supposed testimony of that “daughter of a well-known canon” took parish magazines by storm, and equally enjoyed the faith of dissenting divines. The “daughter” denied all knowledge of the matter, but people still quoted her supposed sure word; and the issues were confused with tales, probably true, of painful hallucinations and deliriums of our retreating soldiers, men fatigued and shattered to the very verge of death. It all became worse than the Russian myths, and as in the fable of the Russians, it seemed impossible to follow the streams of delusions to their fountain-head—or heads. Who was it who said that “Miss M. knew two officers who, etc., etc.”? I suppose we shall never know his lying, deluding name. And so, I dare say, it will be with this strange affair of the troublesome children of the Welsh seaside town, or rather of a group of small towns and villages lying within a certain section or zone, which I am not going to indicate more precisely than I can help, since I love that country, and my recent experience with “The Bowmen” has taught me that no tale is too idle to be believed. And, of course, to begin with, nobody knew how this odd and malicious piece of gossip originated. So far as I know, it was more akin to the Russian myth than to the tale of “The Angels of Mons.” That is, rumour preceded print;

above and opposite: ‘Little Savages’ (detail) 2007 organic material and insects


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the thing was talked of here and there and passed from letter to letter long before the papers were aware of its existence. And—here it resembles rather the Mons affair— London and Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham were muttering vague unpleasant things while the little villages concerned basked innocently in the sunshine of an unusual prosperity. In this last circumstance, as some believe, is to be sought the root of the whole matter. It is well known that certain east coast towns suffered from the dread of air-raids, and the good many of their usual visitors went westward for the first time. So there is a theory that the east coast was mean enough to circulate reports against the west coast out of pure malice and envy. It may be so; I do not pretend to know. But here is a personal experience, such as it is, which illustrated the way in which the rumour was circulated. I was lunching one day at my Fleet Street tavern—this was early in July—and a friend of mine, a solicitor, of Serjeants’ Inn, came in and sat at the same table. We began to talk of holidays and my friend Eddis asked me where I was going. “To the same old place,” I said. “Manavon. You know we always go there.” “Are you really?” said the lawyer; “I thought that coast had gone off a lot. My wife has a friend who’s heard that it’s not at all that it was.” I was astonished to hear this, not seeing how a little village like Manavon could have “gone off. ” I had known it for ten years as having accommodation for about twenty visitors, and I could not believe that rows of lodging houses had sprung up since the August of 1914. Still I put the question to Eddis: “Trippers?” I asked, knowing firstly that trippers hate the solitudes of the country and the sea; secondly, that there are no industrial towns within cheap and easy distance, and thirdly, that the railways were issuing no excursion tickets during the war. “No, not exactly trippers,” the lawyer replied. “But my wife’s friend knows a clergyman who says that the beach at Tremaen is not at all pleasant now, and Tremaen’s only a few miles from Manavon, isn’t it?” “In what way not pleasant?” I carried on my examination. “Pierrots and shows, and that sort of thing?” I felt that it could not be so, for the solemn rocks of Tremaen would have turned the liveliest Pierrot to stone. He would have frozen into a crag on the beach, and the seagulls would carry away his song and make it a lament by lonely, booming caverns that look on Avalon. Eddis said he had heard nothing about showmen; but he understood that since the war the children of the whole district had gone quite out of hand. “Bad language, you know,” he said, “and all that sort of thing, worse than London slum children. One doesn’t want one’s wife and children to hear foul talk at any time, much less on their holiday. And they say that Castell Coch is quite impossible; no decent woman would be seen there!” I said: “Really that’s a great pity,” and changed the subject. But I could not

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‘The Marauding Horde’ (detail) 2010 organic material and insects


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make it out at all. I knew Castell Coch well—a little bay bastioned by dunes and red sandstone cliffs, rich with greenery. A stream of cold water runs down there to the sea; there is the ruined Norman Castle, the ancient church and the scattered village; it is altogether a place of peace and quiet and great beauty. The people there, children and grownups alike, were not merely decent but courteous folk: if one thanked a child for opening a gate, there would come the inevitable response: “And welcome kindly, sir,” I could not make it out at all. I didn’t believe the lawyer’s tales; for the life of me I could not see what he could be driving at. And, for the avoidance of all unnecessary mystery, I may as well say that my wife and child and myself went down to Manavon last August and had a most delightful holiday. At the time we were certainly conscious of no annoyance or unpleasantness of any kind. Afterwards, I confess, I heard a story that puzzled and still puzzles me, and this story, if it be received, might give its own interpretation to one or two circumstances which seemed in themselves quite insignificant. But all through July I came upon traces of evil rumours affecting this most gracious corner of the earth. Some of these rumours were repetitions of Eddis’s gossip: others amplified his vague story and made it more definite. Of course, no first-hand evidence was available. There never is any first-hand evidence in these cases. But A knew B who had heard from C that her second cousin’s little girl had been set upon and beaten by a pack of young Welsh savages. Then people quoted “a doctor in large practice in a well-known town in the Midlands,” to the effect that Tremaen was a sink of juvenile depravity. They said that a responsible medical man’s evidence was final and convincing; but they didn’t bother to find out who the doctor was, or whether there was any doctor at all—or any doctor relevant to the issue. Then the thing began to get into the papers in a sort of oblique, by-the-way sort of manner. People cited the case of these imaginary bad children in support of their educational views. One side said that “these unfortunate little ones” would have been quite well behaved if they had had no education at all; the opposition declared that continuation schools would speedily reform them and make them into admirable citizens. Then poor Arfonshire children seemed to become involved in quarrels about Welsh disestablishment and in the question of the miners; and all the while they were going about behaving politely and admirably as they always do behave. I knew all the time that it was all nonsense, but I couldn’t understand in the least what it meant, or who was pulling the wires of rumour, or their purpose in so pulling. I began to wonder whether the pressure and anxiety and suspense of a terrible war had unhinged the public mind, so that it was ready to believe any fable, to debate the reasons for happenings which had never happened. At last, quite incredible things began to be whispered: visitors’ children had not only been beaten, they had been tortured: a little boy had been found impaled on a stake in a lonely field near Manavon; another child had been lured to


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destruction over the cliffs at Castell Coch. A London paper sent a good man down quietly to Arfon to investigate. He was away for a week, and at the end of that period returned to his office and in his own phrase, “threw the whole story down.” There was not a word of truth, he said, in any of these rumours; no vestige of a foundation for the mildest forms of all gossip. He had never seen such a beautiful country; he had never met pleasanter men, women or children; there was not a single case of anyone having been annoyed or troubled in any sort of fashion. Yet all the while the story grew, and grew more monstrous and incredible. I was too much occupied in watching the progress of my own mythological monster to pay much attention. The town clerk of Tremaen, to which the legend had at length penetrated, wrote a brief letter to the press indignantly denying that there was the slightest foundation for “the unsavoury rumours” which, he understood, were being circulated; and about this time we went down to Manavon and, as I say, enjoyed ourselves extremely. The weather was perfect: blues of paradise in the skies the seas all a shimmering wonder, olive greens and emeralds, rich purples, glassy sapphires changing by the rocks; far way a haze of magic lights and colours at the meeting of sea and sky. Work and anxiety had harried me; I found nothing better than to rest on the thymy banks by the shore, finding an infinite balm and refreshment in the gentle sea before me, in the tiny flowers beside me. Or we would rest all the summer afternoon on a “shelf” high on the grey cliffs and watch the tide creaming and surging about the rocks, and listen to it booming in the hollows and caverns below. Afterwards, as I say, there were one or two things that struck cold. But at the time those were nothing. You see a man in an odd white hat pass by and think little or nothing about it. Afterwards, when you hear that a man wearing just such a hat had committed murder in the next street five minutes before, then you find in that hat a certain interest and significance. “Funny children,” was the phrase my little boy used; and I began to think they were “funny” indeed. If there be a key at all to this queer business, I think it is to be found in a talk I had not long ago with a friend of mine named Morgan. He is a Welshman and a dreamer, and some people say he is like a child who has grown up and yet has not grown up like other children of men. Though I did not know it, while I was at Manavon, he was spending his holiday time at Castell Coch. He was a lonely man and he likes lonely places, and when we met in the autumn he told me how, day after day, he would carry his bread and cheese and beer in a basket to a remote headland on that coast known as the Old Camp. Here, far above the waters, are solemn, mighty walls, turf-grown; circumvallations rounded and smooth with the passing of many thousands years. At one end of this most ancient place there is a tumulus, a tower of observation, perhaps, and underneath it slinks the

opposite: ‘The Insectary’ (detail) 2007 organic material and insects


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green, deceiving ditch that seems to wind into the heart of the camp, but in reality rushes down to sheer rock and a precipice over the waters. Here came Morgan daily, as he said, to dream of Avalon, to purge himself from the fuming corruption of the streets, And so, as he told me, it was with singular horror that one afternoon as he dozed and dreamed and opened his eyes now and again to watch the miracle and magic of the sea, as he listened to the myriad murmers of the waves, his meditation was broken by a sudden burst of horrible raucous cries—and the cries of children, too, but children of the lowest type. Morgan says that the very tones made him shudder—”they were to the ear what slime is to touch,” and then the words: every foulness, every filthy abomination of speech blasphemies that struck like blows at the sky, that sank down into the pure, shining depths, defiling them! He was amazed. He peered over the green wall of the fort, and there in the ditch he saw a swarm of noisome children, horrible little stunted creatures with old men’s faces, with bloated faces, with little sunken eyes, with leering eyes. It was worse than uncovering a brood of snakes or a nest of worms. No; he would not describe what they were about. ”Read about Belgium” said Morgan, ”and think they couldn’t have been more than five or six years old,” There was no infamy, he said, that they did not perpetrate; they spared no horror of cruelty. “I saw blood running in streams, as they shrieked with laughter, but I could not find the mark of it on the grass afterwards.” Morgan said he watched them and could not utter a word; it was as if a hand held his mouth tight. But at last he found his voice and shrieked at them, and they burst into a yell of obscene laughter and shrieked back at him, and scattered out of sight. He could not trace them; he supposes that they hid in the deep bracken behind the Old Camp. “Sometimes I can’t understand my landlord at Castell Coch,” Morgan went on. “He’s the village postmaster and has a little farm of his own—a decent, pleasant, ordinary sort of chap. But now and again he will talk oddly. I was telling him about these beastly children and wondering who they could be when he broke into Welsh, something like ‘the battle that is for ages unto ages; and the People take delight in it.’ So far Morgan, and it was evident that he did not understand at all. But this strange tale of his brought back an odd circumstance or two that I recollected: a matter of our little boy straying away more than once, and getting lost among the sand dunes and coming back screaming, evidently frightened horribly, and babbling about “funny children.” We took no notice; did not trouble, I think, to look whether there were any children wandering about the dunes or not. We were accustomed to his small imaginations. But after hearing Morgan’s story I was interested and I wrote an account of the matter to my friend, old Doctor Duthoit, of Hereford. And he: “They were only visible, only audible to children and the childlike. Hence the explanation of what puzzled you at first; the rumours, how did they arise? They arose from nursery gossip, from scraps and odds and ends of half-articulate children’s talk of horrors that they didn’t understand, of words that shamed their nurses and their mothers. “These little people of the earth rise up and rejoice in these times of ours. For they are glad, as the Welshman said, when they know that men follow their ways.” © reproduced with kind permission from the estate of Arthur Machen


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opposite: ‘The Insectary’ (detail) 2007 organic material and insects


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‘The Bathers’ 2010 190 x 270 cm oil on canvas


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‘Blue Shadow’ 2010 (left) 137 x 106 cm oil on canvas ‘The Depot’ 2010 (above) 83 x 130 cm oil on canvas


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‘The Perspective’ 2010 145 x 196 cm oil on canvas


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’The Three Friends’ 2009 163 x 220 cm oil on canvas


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Halabja Community Playground Project is working with the local community in Halabja. a Kurdish town in southeast Kurdistan, Iraq, to build a safe and creative environment for children to play in. The town was brought to international attention in the closing months of the Iran-Iraq war when on March 16th1988, the Ba’athist Government of Iraq attacked the city with chemical weapons. More than 5,000 civilians were killed and another 10,000 seriously wounded. The devastating toll on the people crippled the community. Largely neglected by their own government and abandoned by the international community, the people of Halabja have struggled to rebuild their city for the last two decades. Since March 2008, while photo documenting the 20th anniversary of the Halabja massacre for the Kurdish Human Rights Project, photographer Tom Carrigan spent two weeks living with the family of Nariman Ali Mohammad. Nariman Ali is a local community representative and Deputy Director of the Halabja Monument who acted as guide and translator. He introduced Tom to local families and teachers, and the first discussions of the need for a creative and safe area for the kids in Halabja to play began. Children growing up in Halabja since the end of the war live under much social and environmental pressure. School and family life can be restrictive and repressive for some children, and often physically violent. Although the fighting has ceased, the town is undergoing reconstruction and development that replaces open spaces with increased traffic and hazardous building sites. Many children work full or part time in the market place and family buisnesses and these additional pressures restrict a freely chosen creative play life. To donate to this project please go to http://halabjaplay.org/donate/

Š 2011 Halabja Community Playground Project photography Tom Carrigan


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‘Sarah’ 2010 20 x 30 cm pinhole photography


In Phil Hale’s work the reason for painting becomes clear, crashing into us again and again but unrepeatable each time. The series here are a selection of ten paintings from the solo show ‘Record Separator’ at Five Hundred Dollars gallery, London. He was in the group show 'Some Domestic Incidents' at the Prague Biennale and at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 2011. Phil Hale has exhibited in the UK, U.S.A, Europe and China and has work in numerous public and private collections including Lords Cricket Ground, The National Portrait Gallery, The Jerwood Foundation and the Royal Portrait Painters society. www.mockingbirds\relaxeder.com James Unsworth graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007 he has since won numerous awards for drawing and etching and has exhibited widely including in L.A, Basel, New York and Miami. He recently had a solo show’ Ninja Turtle Sex Museum’ at Five Hundred Dollars gallery, London. http://jamesunsworth.blogspot.com http://jamesunsworth.com Matt Cook’s fiction has appeared in Small Doggies online and Cool Dog. He reviews for Pank online and blogs sporadically at canjustsitaround.blogspot.com. He lives in Manchester. hellomattcook@gmail.com

Guy Paterson combines screen printing with photo chemistry on light sensitive surfaces and conventional photography. His work reappropriates and reassigns obsolete industrial equipment, materials and techniques. He runs a popular alternative photographic course at Central St Martins college of art and design London and runs Double Negative a studio specializing in analogue photographic techniques and workshops in Hackney, London. www.guy-paterson.co.uk http://www.facebook.com/groups/doublenegative/ Michele Turriani works with both digital and analogue photography. He takes a hands on approach to this series of instant portraits which were taken in a live performance at the show ‘Photolita’ held at Five Hundred Dollars gallery, London. Michele Turriani trained in Urbino as a graphic designer and art director. He currently works in fashion, editorial and advertising. www.micheleturriani.com Internationally reknowned photographer Tom Hunter has used his hand built pinhole camera to photograph stalls in his local Ridley Road market and places of worship in Hackney. He is the first artist to have a photography show at the National Gallery, London and is Senior Research fellow of the London College of Communication, University of Arts London. www.tomhunter.org \www.purdyhicks.com


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ar T is T s Rachel Thomson is an artist who uses cyanotype- the earliest form of photography to make the blue shadow impressions featured. She is editor and designer of Imbroglio magazine by which she hopes to present to you a phalanx of able artists, poets and writers and happily leaves it up to you to do the rest. rachelthomson93@gmail.com Charlotte Heal works as a freelance graphic designer incorporating her own photography and illustrations into her designs. www.charlotteheal.com Simon Larbalastiers monochromatic photographic series of Morroccon landscapes were shot using a Hassalblad panoramic camera. He hand prints and tones his images onto a fibre based paper.He has produced several landscape series in Italy, USA, Australia and India as well as longer term documentary projects in Thailand, Cambodia and South East Asia. www.simon-larbalestier.co.uk Giles Clarke is an artist and film maker currently shooting a story a day on his iphone. www.bhopal.org http://awhitelabelproduct.com/G_Clarke/

Sarah Hilary is the winner of the Sense Creative Writing Award 2010 and the Fish Criminally Short Histories Prize 2008. In 2010 she was shortlisted and Highly Commended in the Seán Ó Faoláin contest. Sarah is currently working on a crime novel. Her agent is Jane Gregory www.gregoryandcompany.co.uk Tom Carrigan is a professional photographer working in the field of human rights. He is the project manager for the Halabja Community Playground Project, in Halabja a Kurdish town in Northern Iraq http://halabjaplay.org Sarah Roesink is a London based photographer with a collection of vintage and self made pinhole cameras which she uses to record the atmosphere of the moment. She is part of the creative partnership Ideologio. www.ideologio.com Colin James has a chapbook of poems out from Thunderclap Press and is a great admirer of the Scottish landscape painter John Mackenzie. colinrichardjames@yahoo.com

Justin Mortimer’s paintings are from his UK show ‘In Your Own Village’ held at Master Piper gallery, London. He has exhibited internationally with works in national and private collections including The Portrait Gallery, London National Portrait Gallery, Canada and Flash Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Trevi, Italy. He has recently exhibited at the Armoury show in New York 2011 and had a solo show „Häftling“ at Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles. His upcoming Solo Show is from October-November 2012 at Haunch of Venison, London. www.justinmortimer.co.uk Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890’s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction, including The Hill of Dreams, The Great God Pan and The Three Impostors. Out of the Earth was selected for Imbroglio and complimented by the art work of his great grand daughter Tessa Farmer. Tessa Farmer’s sculptures are a playful tableaux of a hidden more sinister world where insects are seen in battle with miniture skeleton fairies. She has exhibited worldwide with work in the Saatchi Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum and the David Roberts Collection. www.tessafarmer.com Serban Savu lives and works in Cluj, Romania, his paintings appear to document peaceful everyday scenes of his native country but somehow their quietness is unsettling. The countryside is still undergoing a breeze block urbanisation from the social and political experiments of the 60’s when people were forced by the communist government to move from their rural villages into new urban areas. The displaced communities continue to live as they always have with little or no assimilation into their new surroundings.The artist has had solo painting shows at David Nolan Gallery NY,Plan B Gallery, Berlin Mihai and at the Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles. www.nicodimgallery.com/artists/serban-savu/

© IMBROGLIO ISBN: 0 9536741 all rights reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the copyright holders. editor Rachel Thomson design & production Imbroglio 10 Manor Road London N16 5SA


P hil h ale J ame s u ns Wort h g uy Pat e rs on miche le Turriani Tom h unt e r r ache l T homs on s arah r oe s ink c harlot t e h e al s imon l arbalas t ie r gile s clarke Tray B at e y Te s s a f arme r J us t in mort ime r mat t cook s arah hilary art hur mache n s e rban s avu c ol iN J ame s


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