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Contemporary Artists & Exhibitions

Issue 11 winter 2017/18

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Paint, plaster, wood and ink are all powerful resources in the hands of an artist, and the ability to transform their chosen material from its raw state into works of art is something that takes true vision. The most unusual and unexpected everyday objects and materials can find their way into an artist’s studio. Brightly coloured balloons, while usually found adorning the ceilings of a child’s party, are transformed into playful sculptures with the twist of Masayoshi Matsumoto’s hand, while marble, lime, copper, iron and pigments fuse together in Hayley Reynold’s atmospheric modern frescos, heightened into fine art through her creative eye. Eggshells once took the place of eyeballs in Aspencrow’s hauntingly life-like sculptures of celebrities past and present, although he has since developed his techniques with resin, allowing him to create perfect replicas of the globular organs. When looking at the work within the pages of this issue, take some time to think of each small piece of matter which came together by the hand of the artist, forming the finished piece before us.

EDITORS Kieran Austin Toby Oliver Dean COVER IMAGE Masayoshi Matsumoto Poodle, 2017 60 x 60 cm PROOF READER Daisy Francome FOLLOW US InsideArtists InsideArtists ONLINE ENQUIRIES +44 (0)1273 649 724 Inside Artists is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publishers. The magazine can assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.

"I created this piece because it seemed that balloons are compatible with the shape of the poodle. I expressed fluffy feeling using only balloons." Masayoshi Matsumoto

Exhibitions 06 EMERGENCY 2017

Interviews 08 Masayoshi Matsumoto 34 Nicholas Griffin

52 Aspencrow

Artist profiles 12 14 20 28 30 40

Katarzyna Gajewska Agatha Whitechapel Mika Yajima Hayley Reynolds Stephen Hodgetts AĹĄot Haas

44 50 60 64 66 68

Francesco Ruspoli Diana Kirova Melanie Reese Nikos Lamprinos Susan Greeff Irina Neacsu

Artist showcase 70 Tiffany Scull 72 Stephen Tierney 76 Jason Clarke

Artist exhibitions 86 Upcoming artist exhibitions

78 Larry Graeber 80 Miranda Trojanowska


EMERGENCY 2017 8 December – 27 February 2018 Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth


ut of over three hundred applications, eight emerging artists have been chosen to exhibit at this year’s highly anticipated EMERGENCY at Portsmouth’s Aspex Gallery. The exhibition is an international event, attracting submissions from artists across the world. The selected artists’ work will be displayed in a group show opening this December, during which a winner will be chosen to receive a solo exhibition in 2019, as well as a fee of £1,000 to support the development of new work. The artists selected for EMERGENCY are a celebration of all visual art practices, showcasing the diversity of contemporary art. They have been named as Eleanor Breeze, Matthew Gough, James Lewis, Lindsey Mendick, Flore Nové-Josserand, Beth Emily Richards, Maggie Roberts and Lotte Rose Kjær Skau. Their work and inspirations range from paintings of re-imagined memories, visually exuberant installations and visual typography shaped by a 90's childhood. Aspex is dedicated to presenting the most interesting, exciting, playful, challenging and creative contemporary art, from both new and established artists. With a commitment to supporting emerging artists, EMERGENCY is just one of the ways the gallery engages new audiences with visual art. The biennial exhibition was established in 2003 and continues to be a highlight in the art calendar.

Lindsey Mendick - Monsieur You Are Really Spoiling Us (2017). Installation - Ceramics, wooden chair, emulsion, acrylic.

For more information visit: Lindsey Mendick - Finger Food (2017). Installation -Ceramics, Wooden stool, emulsion, acrylic.


Tove Jansson 1914-2001 Until 28 January 2018 Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Known as the creator of the Moomin characters and books, Tove Jansson’s graphic illustration and works in paint are relatively unseen outside her home country of Finland. This exhibition brings together 150 works, including a selection of selfportraits and paintings never before seen in the UK. Jansson’s most enduring desire was to be an artist and this exhibition reveals the unwavering passion that kept her working and exhibiting as an accomplished fine artist alongside her career in graphic illustration.

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White Until 18 February 2018 National Gallery, London The National Gallery explores the tradition of painting in black and white with more than fifty works painted on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood and canvas for a radical new look at what happens when artists cast aside the colour spectrum and focus on the visual power of black, white, and everything in between. The exhibition features work by old masters such as Van Eyck, Dürer and Rembrandt alongside contemporary artists working today including Bridget Riley and Gerhard Richter. Over seven hundred years of art is represented from the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance and into the 21st century.

Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: We Are Ghosts Until 18 March 2018 Tate Liverpool Known for their stylised black and white videos that combine painting, performance and poetry to tell surreal stories inspired by history and mythology, this exhibition presents a new commission by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley. Played by the artists acting multiple roles, their characters speak in poetic verse to tell stories that imagine unrecorded histories, such as life on a US Navy Submarine at the end of the Second World War. The display will feature their new work, alongside life-size lightbox portraits of the videos’ characters.

From Life 11 December 2017 – 11 March 2018 Royal Academy, London Looking to the past, present and future of one of the cornerstones of artistic process, this exhibition asks what it means to make art from life, and how the practice is evolving as technology opens up new ways of making and seeing. Beginning with historic works drawn from the RA Collection, From Life will trace a line from the origins of the RA in the 18th century to the present day. Alongside a room devoted to Jeremy Deller’s Iggy Pop Life Class, contemporary work will be shown in diverse media by various artists including Jenny Saville, Chantal Joffe, Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing.

08 INTERVIEW Masayoshi Matsumoto

Masayoshi Matsumoto


ntriguing creatures great and small are formed from brightly coloured balloons, twisted together to create legs, wings and tentacles. They are the works of Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto, who faithfully recreates insects, birds, mammals and sea creatures from balloons in a variety of shapes. Matsumoto’s skills are clear to see, with each of his works made from all balloons only; adhesives, maker pens, sealants and the like are not used at all. While his choice of materials may appear to have a child-like undertone, it is difficult not to be impressed as a viewer, as we capture a glimpse of the artist’s vivid imagination and passion for the medium. When talking to Matsumoto about his work it is obvious there is no hidden agenda behind his intriguing artworks. His straightforward approach allows each piece to visually speak for itself.

Have you always worked with balloons in your work? How did you first begin creating with this medium? I create balloon art as a hobby; I am a chemical engineer by profession. I began eight years ago, and since I started I've been inclined to make lifelike balloon animals & insects; I've liked creatures since I was small. Why did you first start making balloon works? I thought it was interesting. There was no special reason.

What is your process when creating work? Does it start with a sketch or experimentation? In most cases, I make creations just by imagination. I rarely make a sketch. Have you found it necessary to develop your own techniques to create your sculptures, or do you use completely traditional methods? In most cases, I use a combination of traditional methods.

Masayoshi Matsumoto INTERVIEW 09

Octopus, 2015, 50 x 50 cm

Nautilus, 2017, 40 x 40 cm

10 INTERVIEW Masayoshi Matsumoto

Snake, 2015, 20 x 60 cm

Can you tell us more about the techniques you use to create the balloon works? I use the twisting techniques called ‘pinch twist’, ‘loop twist’, ‘lock twist’, and so on. I also utilize frictional force at the interference part of facing balloons with each other. How many balloons do you usually use for each piece? About 20-30 balloons for each. Birds, plants and insects are a recurring subject matter; have you always been interested in the natural world? Do you have any other inspirations while creating work? I have mainly been inspired by wildlife pictures, but I have also been inspired by lifelike art such as Riusuke Fukahori's resin work.

Balloons are quite a temporary object; how do you preserve your artworks for display? I don't preserve them. I usually pop all the artworks after shooting them. Your balloon works are quite a contrast to your job as a chemical engineer; has your profession informed your artworks at all? No, not at all. My profession is unrelated to the art style. Which is your favourite piece you've created so far? My favourite piece is the hornet.

Masayoshi Matsumoto INTERVIEW 11

Grub, 2015, 50 x 50 cm

Hornet, 2015, 30 x 50 cm

12 ARTIST PROFILE Katarzyna Gajewska

There is a language of flowers, 2016 acrylic on canvas, 120 x 100 cm

Wonferful Times, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 100 cm

Katarzyna Gajewska


he last five years have seen a shift in Polish artist Katarzyna Gajewska’s painting process. While previously creating work based on ‘prosthetic memory’ as a spectator to events and experiences, it is now her own memories and experiences which are inspiring new works. Working with mixed media on canvas she creates expressive pieces which use colour as a new visual language, with bright pinks and oranges framing faceless, twisting bodies; masked and anonymous. The artist also works with acrylic on paper, sometimes painting abstract and figurative compositions directly onto sheets of newspaper. Collage is also an important part of her process as she pieces

together slices of contrasting narrative, draping dissonance between new and recycled; painting over new surfaces subsequently as in an endless circle of life. Based in Warsaw in Poland, Gajewska’s exhibiting credits include many solo shows in Dublin, Ireland as well as the UK and Poland, as well as group shows across the world with her work held in private collections in Ireland, England, Germany, the United States and Switzerland.

Katarzyna Gajewska ARTIST PROFILE 13

Fleurs du mal _ Flowers of Evil, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

14 ARTIST PROFILE Agatha Whitechapel

Agatha Whitechapel


isual artist Agatha Whitechapel is a collage photographer and film maker. She combines documentary with elements she describes as ‘Extrovert fantasy pop’. Myths and fairy tales are running themes through her works, as iconic figures from stories and legends are re-imagined in contemporary settings, often depicted with an extravagant dystopian edge which more accurately reflects modern-day situations. Rapunzel finds her hair being pulled in a bloodspattered wrestling ring; Snow White is now a mother to seven in a kitchen littered with apples, while a skateboarding Pinocchio is transformed back into puppet form in the grounds of a cemetery. With hundreds of single shots

Princess & the Pea - Fairytales, 2016 collage photography, 165 x 250 cm

composing the final image, the life-size scale of the work adds an imposing element for the viewer, as we are confronted with these opulent alternative visions of characters known so well for their happy-ever-afters. Based in Vienna, Whitechapel’s varied artistic career has seen her directing music videos, horror and documentary shorts as well as working extensively in film production. Her exhibiting credits include the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, where last year she won awards for her work in international categories, and the prestigious MAK (Museum of Applied and Contemporary Arts) in Vienna.

Agatha Whitechapel ARTIST PROFILE 15

Little Mermaid - Fairytales, 2014, collage photography, 180 x 160 cm

16 ARTIST PROFILE Agatha Whitechapel

Dorothy - Fairytales, 2013, collage photography, 125 x 177 cm

Red Riding Hood - Fairytales, 2014, collage photography, 140 x 180 cm

Agatha Whitechapel ARTIST PROFILE 17

The Red Shoes - Fairytales, 2017, collage photography, 210 x 260 cm

Sleeping Beauty - Fairytales, 2014, collage photography, 105 x 200 cm

18 ARTIST PROFILE Agatha Whitechapel

Beauty & the Beast - Fairytales, 2016, collage photography, 200 x 220 cm

Agatha Whitechapel ARTIST PROFILE 19

Pinocchio & the Blue Fairy - Fairytales, 2016, collage photography, 135 x 180 cm


Fetal movement, 2007, rope work - manila hemp, jute, cotton & polyester rope cord, clay, silver foil., 800 cm

Mika Yajima


he paradoxical contrast of light and heavy and soft and hard are trademarks of Mika Yajima’s visual aesthetic. Her fibre artworks use an equally contradictory combination of thin threads and metal bound together through original techniques which see her weaving, knotting, and collaging the mix of materials, informed by her experience of working in the production of artworks for kimono and architectural objects. Yajima’s sculptural pieces often take the form of large-scale installations that creep up the exteriors of towering buildings or inhabit entire rooms of the gallery. In 2006 she created a vast cloth installation which spread across the sweeping green hillside of a ski slope in summer; the enigmatic formations reminiscent of membranes as they interacted with the natural world.

Meanwhile the artist’s smaller, more intimate pieces hold just as big an impact, both visually and with the meaning they hold on a spiritual level. Recently Yajima’s practice has seen her focusing on ideas which transform dyed and woven folk craft materials into pieces of contemporary art; imagining ways in which the traditional Japanese fabrics may be interpreted across the world, through another’s eyes. Yajima is based in Japan, although exhibits her work internationally as she continues to explore the reactions of viewers overseas. This year alone her work has been shown at prestigious art events in London, Dubai and Brussels.


Cosmic spiral, 2007, rope works - manila hemp, jute, cotton & polyester rope cord, 500 x 700 cm


Floating leaf on INSIDE, 2017, shaggy rug with needle, mixed collage with fiber, 28 x 23 cm


6 x 4 Foliage Gold, 2017, shaggy rug with needle, mixed collage with fiber, 73 x 73 cm


5 x 5 Multilayer paths, 2017, shaggy rug with needle, mixed collage with fiber, 38 x 33 cm


Composition - INSIDE, 2017, hand-woven tapestry on canvas, mixed collage with fiber., 73 x 23 cm

Composition - INSIDE, 2017, hand-woven tapestry on canvas, mixed collage with fiber., 73 x 23 cm


6 x 4 Foliage Gold, 2017, shaggy rug with needle, mixed collage with fiber, 73 x 73 cm


INSIDE , 2006, installation with recycled cloth collage, 245 x 245 cm

28 ARTIST PROFILE Hayley Reynolds

The Tribe, 2014, fresco-venetian plaster, 30 x 30 cm

Hayley Reynolds


n endless imagination is a powerful tool for Hayley Reynolds, who specialises in creating artworks and modern frescos using a variety of rarely seen techniques and materials. Venetian plaster, rust, corrosion and Verdigris patinas are all used to striking effect within her atmospheric artworks which depict scenes from nature as well as abstract compositions. Reynolds fittingly describes herself as an ‘Artistic Alchemist’; seen through her choice of materials as well as in her creative techniques, fusing together the likes of marble, lime and pigments through the process of carbonation, and using copper and iron products for their

transformative abilities through oxidisation, giving a rich depth of colour and texture to her work. Although also creating work with acrylic, watercolour, pen and ink, it is Reynold’s constant exploration and experimentation of materials and how they can be used within her work which makes her an exciting artist to watch. Based in Pershore in Worcestershire, her work has been sold internationally. Recent exhibitions include the New Artist Fair in London, and March 2018 will see her painting frescos live at London’s Talented Art Fair, as well as showing work.

Hayley Reynolds ARTIST PROFILE 29

CU (See You), 2017, mixed media - venetian plaster, copper & iron, 61 x 61 cm

30 ARTIST PROFILE Stephen Hodgetts

Stephen Hodgetts


bstract photographer Stephen Hodgetts counts black and white films and television as one of his earliest influences. Rather than simply recording what he sees in front of him, his work is the result of a choreography of light, depth and composition to build a narrative; often capturing scenes from a new perspective. While many of his images are unplanned, observations of texture are a recurring theme throughout Hodgetts’ work. His use of monochrome heightens both the rough and the smooth of the captured scene, as form and light is focused on without the distraction of colour. The natural world is a constant draw for the photographer, who takes inspiration from natural seasonal light in locations such as the wild

Reed Bed (Scotland), 2015, traditional silver gelatin prints, 25 x 35 cm

landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and places where time appears to have stood still. Hodgetts' process sees him working with both digital and analogue formats; the use of both mediums allowing him the flexibility to adapt, creating a finished image which fits with his initial vision. Whether working digitally or with film, he prints all of his images using traditional darkroom methods. Recently the photographer has begun working with a more project-based approach, creating work in series such as with his ‘Tools of the Trade’ still-life project, which won him a portfolio award in the British Black & White Photography magazine.

Stephen Hodgetts ARTIST PROFILE 31

Morning Mist (UK), 2015, traditional silver gelatin prints, 25 x 35 cm

32 ARTIST PROFILE Stephen Hodgetts

Tools of the Trade (UK), 2015, traditional silver gelatin prints, 25 x 35 cm

Stephen Hodgetts ARTIST PROFILE 33

The Grille (USA), 2015, traditional silver gelatin prints, 25 x 35 cm

After the Rain Citroen Dx (France), 2016, traditional silver gelatin prints, 25 x 35 cm

34 INTERVIEW Nicholas Griffin

Nicholas Griffin


ith a sophisticated eye for palette and composition, Nicholas Griffin’s paintings draw in the viewer with their intriguing snippets of narrative, alluding to half-forgotten personal histories and dreamlike memories.While often depicting figures, it is the objects within his work which often hold emotive importance to the artist; however which object or objects in particular within the painting is another part of the puzzle left for the observer to ponder. Through his investigations in paint he is conjuring up a visual conversation, which in turn results in the final images being greater than the perimeters of the frame. Having recently graduated from art school, Griffin has continued to develop his practice independently. How long have you been painting, and have you found your style changing within this time? Well I was drawing on the walls at three years old so I suppose I started pretty young but painting seriously and consciously I would have to say around eight years. Stylistically the work has changed a great amount, less so more recently but I feel this has something to do with your focus and possibly life situation. Looking back to when you are at high school you are told what to look at and what to do in order to get the grades, it’s a similar situation at college but then at University it’s up to you and now being one year out of university it quite literally is all up to me. That freedom can be daunting in many ways because if you are restless in your creative energy, which I think to an extent, I am. You can find yourself searching for something else - it’s only more recently I am seeing the

beauty in really getting down to the nitty gritty of your subject matter and delving deep within in it. Change is necessary though otherwise the work stagnates but it has be natural not forced, I think. A huge moment for me was going to the Turner Prize in 2010 and seeing Dexter Dalwood’s paintings in the flesh, In particular ‘Death of David Kelly’. I remember looking at his work and realising how far I had to go. I became so much more aware of paint application, colour balance, composition and so on, instead of being caught up solely with the idea itself which at that age I think you are. How to make the work credible became my obsession and still is; you always pit yourself against people you respect. In that sense your self-criticism increases as well as your selfawareness of the work in a contemporary context and consequently that will usually result in some sort of change. It’s never ending.

Nicholas Griffin INTERVIEW 35

Guided Without Sight, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 149 x 119 cm

36 INTERVIEW Nicholas Griffin

Michael (M.V.P), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 101 cm

Colour appears to be an important aspect of your paintings, and usually they are altered to a dream-like state, can you tell us more about your palettes and what they represent? Colour is hugely important, although curiously the alteration of my palettes wasn’t really a conscious thing. It’s probable that I saw more work as time progressed and developed a better understanding of colour and wanted to explore it further. Colour balance has always been pretty instinctive, I still regularly get it wrong though which is the art fates keeping me in line, making sure I don’t get too cocky. In a deeper sense I see colour as a way of evoking moods, using the connotations attached to some colours - which in itself is a massive thing - and playing around

with that. It is also just fun, the application of one colour next to another is a deeply interesting and enjoyable thing and something I can’t imagine getting bored of. Each painting tells a story of your own personal experiences; is there also a bigger narrative at play in your work? This is the big one, the issue I’m currently wrestling with. Yes the works are deeply rooted in personal experiences but this throws up problems as the paintings have to be accessible to the viewer. I remember some time ago watching a conversation about documentary making between Nick Fraser and A.A. Gill, and Gill made the point that he hated documentaries where the

Nicholas Griffin INTERVIEW 37

Night Bather, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 119 x 149 cm

documentary maker had placed themselves in the forefront of the piece and in a sense turned it into a sob story negating the credibility of the attempted exposè. In short I don’t want to be that documentary maker. I’m also looking far more at academic and philosophical theories with regard to my own work; Adorno’s aesthetic theory is what I’m currently unpacking and I have Fred Moten’s work to thank for turning me on to that. With regard to the bigger narrative, there most definitely is one but it’s accumulative; the paintings mirror life in its totality, the highs and lows and the mundane… never overlook the mundane. I’m a believer in showing but not necessarily telling. There’s a mystique to the

whole package of making art, from the making to the viewing and that’s something I think can be lost when the artist lifts up the bonnet. Tell us about your creative process; do you work in series or focus on individual pieces? Do you have any painting rituals? Like most creative practitioners or artists I am influenced by most things I come into contact with. Mostly it’s the people around me, photographs, films, books and music. I see artist monographs as the equivalent to the people working at the genius bar at the Apple store; they’re the problem solvers. Music is really an emotive thing with me, sometimes I want to

38 INTERVIEW Nicholas Griffin

Rug (Welcome), 2017, acrylic, oil paint and oil pastel on canvas, 149 x 119 cm

listen to Nirvana shaking the walls and other times it’s Miles Davis or Lee Scratch Perry. I think it’s about the vibe and mood the music sets according to my own mood. Watching television and film is also a huge part of my working process. There are inherent possibilities within the film making process that simply aren’t available in painting, so watching these things is inspirational. Right now I’m on a Sopranos binge; the cinematography is just out of this world. I consider that show a work of art - it’s complex and just amazing. So all these things feed in, and my art derives from art. When painting early on I worked on one piece at a time, but now it’s almost exclusively in series. That way you can see the work together and allow them to have a conversation and feed off one another. I remember Chris Ofili saying in an interview that you reach a point in a painting where the painting starts saying more than you and you just sit back and listen and I’m with Chris

Shelter from it All, 2017, acrylic, oil paint and oil pastel on canvas , 142 x 111 cm

on this; sometimes you’ve got to step back and just look and listen. I find working in series and on multiple pieces at the same time helps with that. I am pretty ritualistic in the studio actually, coffee and bottled water - and occasionally bottled beer -tend to be had in replacement of food, although I don’t advise that kids! I have an erratic and strange sleep pattern; I’m a night worker and always have been. Luckily the people in my building work in the days so I tend to go in at night when no-ones there and that way I have the building to myself and I can play music. The only downside to that is the loss of natural light so I try and balance it out. What are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions? I’m continuing with a series based on pretty disparate source material but it all links together. They are predominately figurative, hopefully

Nicholas Griffin INTERVIEW 39

Self Portrait Asleep, 2017, acrylic and oil paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

reflecting modern life and it’s various facets. I won’t say too much as it’s very early days! I think as well I will be doing an MA in painting as I am not done with education yet. I don’t actually have anything specific planned, although I am in contact with friends I graduated with from Falmouth University about putting on a show, there are really talented people from my year who are doing some amazing stuff.

A main goal aside from that is a solo show. Just being given the opportunity to firstly show the work but also to see all the paintings together and how they interact, that is something I am very keen to do.


Resonance of sound, 2016, light object, plexiglass, aluminium, 100 x 180 cm

Ašot Haas


asic shapes are repeatedly the catalyst to Ašot Haas’ sculptural works, often starting with a simple square or circle, looking within them to reveal the infinite possibilities of sequence and how it connects and contains everything around us. Working with materials such as Plexiglas, acrylic and aluminium, light itself is also an essential component to the artist’s work, using it as a medium during the creative process. By having his artworks radiate light directly, the viewer is able to connect with the piece without the outside influence of the surrounding area. Allowing the

viewer an opportunity to interact with the work, be it in a large or small way, is an important aspect of Haas’ process, as he strives to create works which communicates with his audience. Originally from Moscow, Haas is now based in Slovakia. He has exhibited in group and solo shows over the last decade, with two solo exhibitions this year in Slovakia.


Coordinated Meteorite, 2015, light object, plexiglass, 260 x 50 x 50 cm


Resonance of sound, 2016, light object, optical plexiglass relief, 100 x 200 cm

Resonance of sound, 2016, light object plexiglass, aluminium, 150 x 300 cm


Title, YEAR, medium, H x W cm

Sixtimes light, 2013, RGB object, graphic on plexiglass, 300 x 90 cm

44 ARTIST PROFILE Francesco Ruspoli

Francesco Ruspoli


symphony of striking colours lay thick upon Francesco Ruspoli’s canvas as he explores the dynamic frontier between abstraction and figuration, peeling back layers to find the essence of the image which may originate in ancient or classical art, dance or theatre. Through his paintings, Ruspoli’s message, theme and vision is to create an experience of emotional connection with the individual viewer in their specific space, allowing them the opportunity to create their own interpretations which become as equally valid as the artist’s. Each individual’s capacity for perception and invention is an uplifting stimulus to create new work.

NEW DEVELOPMENT, 2016, oil, 102 x 153 cm

Using his signature vibrant palette, organic shapes and forms often resembling human figures and nature in an abstract environment fill every inch of the artist’s canvases. He considers the act of viewing as entering into a relationship, a mutual encounter of the painting and the observer; something which is reflected in his visceral compositions. Born in Paris, Ruspoli now lives and works in Cardiff, Wales. Throughout his artistic career he has been recipient of a number of important awards and medals, and has exhibited throughout Europe as well as in the USA and China.

Francesco Ruspoli ARTIST PROFILE 45

IN THE SUN, 2017, oil, 122 x 153 cm

ASSEMBLAGE OF AN INSTANT, 2016, oil, 122 x 153 cm

46 ARTIST PROFILE Francesco Ruspoli

FRACTURED, 2016, oil, 122 x 153 cm

THE EDGE OF MEMORY, 2017, oil, 92 x 122 cm

Francesco Ruspoli ARTIST PROFILE 47

DECLINE, 2016, oil, 122 x 153 cm

REFUGE, 2017, oil, 122 x 153 cm

48 ARTIST PROFILE Francesco Ruspoli

SECOND MOVEMENT, 2016, oil, 122 x 153 cm

THE SECRET BETWEEN US, 2017, oil, 122 x 153 cm

Francesco Ruspoli ARTIST PROFILE 49

SUSPECT, 2016, oil, 122 x 153 cm

UNSETTLED TIME, 2017, oil, 92 x 122 cm

50 ARTIST PROFILE Diana Kirova

To be limited, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

Diana Kirova


t is easy as a viewer to find oneself lost in Diana Kirova’s paintings; where aqua-marine oceans seamlessly meet endless crystal blue skies, the forms of ships emerging as though floating through space.

Her canvases are presented as spaces without limits, alive with emotional energy and instinct. By excluding any form of horizon in her paintings, Kirova’s abstracted vistas invite the viewer to experience a new sense of location; heightened by the partially constructed vessels which burst forth with movement and vitality.

Originally from Bulgaria, the artist is now based in Rome. Having a passion for painting since childhood, Kirova returned to the canvas in 2008, and has since exhibited regularly in group and solo shows, including Vernice Art Fair, XV Contemporary Art Fair of Forlì with Neo Art Gallery and a solo exhibition of work at Artheka 32 Gallery in Rome.

Diana Kirova ARTIST PROFILE 51

Viraggio, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 150 cm

Negli abissi del Blù, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

52 INTERVIEW Aspencrow



spencrow is the alias of Lithuanian artist Edgar Askelovic, known for his striking hyper-realistic sculptures of celebrities such as Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Kate Moss. Over the years, Aspencrow’s practice has seen him learning a number of technical processes that help him to create a more realistic finish to his sculptures, something which has helped with his overall artistic vision to accurately portray the person in synthetic form. To gaze into the resin eyes of Aspencrow’s hyper-realistic sculptures is to gaze into the soul of the person depicted. Now based in Germany, his body of work includes the controversial pieces ‘Begging Queen’ - which saw an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sitting homeless on the streets - and ‘ICON’; a half dog, half David Bowie hybrid perched upon a white plinth. What drew you to sculpture as a medium? Has it always been your main practice? From early childhood I could draw well. Unfortunately, at school I did not study at all and I was lucky to finish it. When I finished school, I understood that I can do art only and I am interested with art only, so it was easy for me to make a choice to study at the Academy of Art. As I already had drawing skills, I decided to try sculpting, so I applied to the Sculpture Faculty. At that time I did not think about my future; who I would be and how I would earn money after I received my degree. Can you tell us more about your process, from initial idea to finished piece? Looking at art in general, I have always thought that hyperrealism is the top level in art. I mean,

working in hyperrealism, an artist can show their technique and skills. In my opinion, most of hyperrealist artists focus on technique, not an idea. So their sculptures become uninspired after a short amount of time. In Lithuania, during the first three years of university, we learned conceptualism, minimalism and did performance instead of sculpting. All of these developed my artistic side. While finishing university in the United Kingdom I gained freedom in my head and in my thoughts. In my free time from work and university, I gained and improve sculpting skills from internet resources and practice. In my personal case, hyperrealism in my artworks is a tool, not base. I mean, you can have a great

Aspencrow INTERVIEW 53

Diamond Dog - sculpture of David Bowie, plinth, silicone and natural hairs, 170 x 170 x 170 cm

54 INTERVIEW Aspencrow

Begging Queen

idea, but if the artwork has poor quality, the audience will be not interested. Similarly, it could be brilliant quality, but a poor idea. There should be balance, to get interest. Talking about my work process, I begin with the idea and what I want to say through my artwork. After this I think about which technique I will use, as I have many. I think all the details and then leave the sketch for 1-2 months. If after this time I still want to realise this artwork, I start a project. What’s the most challenging aspect of the way you create work? The main challenges are the financial parts, and time. The materials are expensive, making the final piece less accessible to everyone. From

this I have less clientele/buyers. As I create my artworks from start to finish, the production can takes from 3 months up to a year, therefore there is not fast financial turnover. My work process includes: sketch, construction, sculpting, moldmaking, casting finishing and personal delivery. Your work has a focus on hyper-realism; have you always created work with such attention to real-life details? Not always. At my first university in Vilnius, I really loved creating kinetic installations. Later, in the UK, when I did my first hyper realistic artwork ‘Begging Queen’, I really believed that I could reach a good quality with the piece, but comparing my current and first artworks, there

Aspencrow INTERVIEW 55


56 INTERVIEW Aspencrow

is a huge difference. For example, to make the eyes for Begging Queen I used shell from eggs. Now, after many experiments, I create perfect prosthetic resin eyes. Themes of celebrity, excess and death are often present in your sculptures; can you tell us about your inspirations for creating new work? For me the theme of death does not exist. For my projects I choose people - legends - who are interesting to me and it doesn’t make a difference if they are alive or not. When I choose a celebrity for a project, I discover details of their life and my task is to interpret their lifestyle and

personality in sculpture. I do not create hyper realistic sculpture, I create hyper realistic soul. What are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming shows? Currently I am creating a sculpture of Rihanna. For next year I have plans to organise a solo exhibition, but the location is not yet finalised -it could be England or Denmark. To find out more, you can follow me on social media.

Aspencrow INTERVIEW 57

Death's-head hawk moth Seattle - sculpture of Kurt Cobain, silicone, natural hairs, garment, metal construction, 200 x 250 x 70 cm

58 INTERVIEW Aspencrow

"Andy walking, Andy tired, Andy take a little snooze... - sculpture of Andy Warhol, 2011 silicone, plastic, metal construction, expansion foam, garment., 160 x 70 x 60 cm

Aspencrow INTERVIEW 59

MILF - sculpture of Kate Moss, plinth, silicone and natural hairs, 180 x 70 x 70 cm

60 ARTIST PROFILE Melanie Reese

Racism, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 106 x 63 cm

Trump, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 106 x 63 cm

Melanie Reese


escribing herself as an observational artist, Melanie Reese uses abstract forms to document and engage with important collective issues, specifically the everyday encounters, struggles and social injustices faced by women. Her distinctive lines and organic forms interact with the frame, as the edge of the canvas itself becomes a formal line tracing the limits of the work, building up a tension within each piece. Reese’s unique process sees her drawing on components of Tarot in order to frame her particular narrative, developing a ‘deck of cards’ through the use of colour association

and symbolic gesture. A bigger story is being told through the artist’s paintings, echoing the struggles of all women who have ever been oppressed while adding her own distinctive voice as a young American woman living within the Trump Administration. Based in New York, Reese completed her MFA in Fine Arts in May 2017 at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She has had solo exhibitions at R&D Studios Bushwood and Suzette LaValle in Brooklyn, and has also shown work in several selected group and juried exhibitions.

Melanie Reese ARTIST PROFILE 61

Misogyny, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 106 x 63 cm

62 ARTIST PROFILE Melanie Reese

Civil Rights, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 106 x 63 cm

Melanie Reese ARTIST PROFILE 63

LGBTQ Rights, 2017, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 106 x 63 cm

64 ARTIST PROFILE Nikos Lamprinos

Outerspace 1, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 100 cm

Nikos Lamprinos


espite his work being pure abstraction visually, Nikos Lamprinos describes his paintings as being of and about humans; albeit with the figure removed from the canvas.

Ideas of transformation are key in his process, as he seeks to convey ideas of life, relationships and human purpose, using daily sketchbooks and photographs of cities he visits as inspiration. Travel is also an important aspect of Lamprinos’ work, as he conveys feelings of nostalgia felt both while away, and on return.

Working in oil pastel and acrylic, fragmented geometric shapes fill the entire limits of the canvas, often using a colourful spectrum of shades, although muted tones are also used to convey a more melancholy narrative. Lamprinos is based in Athens, Greece, where he creates work from his studio in the heart of the city. He has been exhibiting work regularly, with shows across Europe.

Nikos Lamprinos ARTIST PROFILE 65

Seascape 3, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

66 ARTIST PROFILE Susan Greeff

Himba VIII (Tribal Life), 2016

Susan Greeff


ravelling South African photographer Susan Greeff’s work documents real people living across the planet, particularly using an outsider’s eye to capture a glimpse into tribal village living.

Greeff’s use of black and white photography is an important aspect of her practice, using the high contrast monochrome to depict the distinction between traditional and modern living. The black and white is also an expression of ideas of light and dark; as with our own lives we experience opposite forces positive and negative, shadow and light; and as the artist states ‘One cannot exist without the other’. Her experience

as a life coach seeps into her artistic work as she considers the ways in which photography is able to open up the viewer’s senses to new experiences, changing perceptions and liberating us from comfort zones. Having had several of her photographs nominated for both local and international photo competitions, Greeff also arranges photographic safaris for creatives.

Susan Greeff ARTIST PROFILE 67

Himba V (Tribal Life), 2016

68 ARTIST PROFILE Irina Neacsu

Irina Neacsu


fascination with botanical subjects has become a main theme for multi-discipline artist Irina Neacsu, whose work includes various projects, from painting and graphics, to applied art and interior design. Creating both abstract and figurative works, the artist focuses on portraying the beauty of flowers while also contemplating their ephemeral charm as a symbol of mortality. Her naturalistic paintings are born from intense observations of the flora, resulting in classical botanical illustration in watercolour, ink and graphic works and abstract and surrealistic oil painting.

Hydrangea, 2017, oil and mixed media on canvas, 120 x 160 cm

Furniture is another of Neacsu’s specialities, working on both old and new pieces, restoring them to include her artistic work in the form of textile collage and digital print. Neacsu is based in Romania where she also teaches art classes. Her recent exhibitions include a solo show of her paintings at Renaissance gallery in Bucharest, Romania, while her artist books were shown as part of exhibitions in Germany and the UK.

Irina Neacsu ARTIST PROFILE 69

Autumn Glimpses [02], 2017, oil and mixed media on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

70 ARTIST SHOWCASE Tiffany Scull

Tiffany Scull


iscovering and specialising in the beautiful decorative technique of Sgraffito has allowed Tiffany Scull to pair her two loves of drawing and clay work. Combining elegant ceramic forms, rich colours and intricate Sgraffito drawings each one of her unique pieces has been meticulously created by hand. Inspired by

Southern Hawker Dragonfly & Water-lily, 2016, high ceramic vessel with sgraffito slip decoration, 14 cm

the natural world with Art Nouveau influences she produces her own distinctive style of work. The artist will be taking part in a mixed exhibition at Foss Fine Art gallery in London from the 11th of November through Christmas.

Tiffany Scull ARTIST SHOWCASE 71

Peacock butterflies &English Rose, 2016, high ceramic vessel with sgraffito slip decoration, 24 cm

72 ARTIST SHOWCASE Stephen Tierney

Lo Que Sea (What will be), 2017, paper collage on art board, 50 x 35 cm

Los Aplausos (Applause) , 2017 paper collage on art board, 50 x 35 cm

Stephen Tierney


strong satirical sense of humour and critique of social behaviour underline Australian artist Stephen Tierney’s work, seen in his powerful new series of handcut collages entitled ‘But First We Dance… A guide to ignoring the end of the world’. Created in reaction to the degradation of international politics and an increasing amount of violence and natural disasters globally, Tierney set out to reveal the dark side of ignorance against our innate ability to carry on with daily life, even when it seems to be crumbling around us. One week after the exhibition of the work opened, three huge earthquakes struck Mexico. The largest centred close to Oaxaca, where

Tierney works and exhibits. The tragedy was immediate for the people who lost their lives, and for the survivors who lost families, friends, homes and businesses. During this time the artist also felt an incredible sense of solidarity and resilience from all types of people; young and old, rich and poor, all working together and helping each other at a time when it would be very easy to give up. There are all kinds of tragedies, from simple everyday problems, to personal heartbreak, to those mass disasters that affect us all as they become currency for fear and terror through news and media outlets. Tierney uses his artworks to show optimism and bravery in the face of adversity and the pain of humankind.

Stephen Tierney ARTIST SHOWCASE 73

Noche de Fuego (Night of Fire), 2017, paper collage on art board, 50 x 35 cm

74 ARTIST SHOWCASE Stephen Tierney

La Activada (Triggered), 2017, paper collage on art board, 50 x 35 cm

Stephen Tierney ARTIST SHOWCASE 75

Hasta Morir! (Until the End!), 2017, paper collage on art board, 50 x 35 cm


Blank Stare, 2017

Jason Clarke


sing black ink, Jason Clarke creates large scale bold, graphic monochrome drawings. Each picture is filled with personal visions representing the artist’s innermost thoughts and feelings. The Birmingham-based artist lives with Bipolar disorder, and has found ways to use his art as therapy, his drawing allowing him to focus and empty his head of all of the bad thoughts weighing him down. Recently Clarke exhibited at the Wirksworth Artists Trail in Derbyshire, where he was also

able to talk to visitors about mental health and the stigma which surrounds it. This has been another positive element of his work, with people within the art industry opening up about their own mental health.


Nightmare, 2017

Silent Assassin, 2016

78 ARTIST SHOWCASE Larry Graeber

Samurai, 2017 cardboard, wood, wire and paint, 73 x 45 x 30 cm

Pink Shower, 2017 cardboard, nylon, MDF and paint, 49 x 30 x 14 cm

Larry Graeber


aving studied many artistic disciplines throughout his career including painting and works on paper, sculpture has been a predominant practice for Larry Graeber since his college days, working with carved stone, fabricated steel and wax models for bronze.

are running themes through the artist’s works as he strives to create resolute and coherent artefacts which are intuitively accessible for the viewer.

His current sculpture work is an amalgam of what he refers to as ‘studio debris’, with materials such as wood, corrugated boxes and wire coming together to form items that evoke slightly understood messaging. The phenomena of shared encounters and ideas of approximations

Based in Texas and creating work from studios in San Antonio and Marfa, Graeber has had many solo and group shows since the early 70's across Texas and the United States.

Larry Graeber ARTIST SHOWCASE 79

Shade, 2016, hog wire, paint and wood, 55 x 45 x 17 cm

80 ARTIST SHOWCASE Miranda Trojanowska

Gold and Green, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 60 cm

Miranda Trojanowska


or Miranda Trojanowska - who took up painting following a career as a research scientist - the link between her academic training as a scientist and work as an artist is clear and not as contradictory as one may think, as both aim to achieve an understanding of the world. Much of Trojanowska’s process is a personal selfexploratory experience as her creative actions help in her understanding and expression of the world, while simultaneously conveying some of her scientific, artistic and emotional experiences to the viewer. Recently her work has been

informed by ideas of atoms; the fundamental building blocks of matter, life and form - created at the instant of the formation of the universe. For the artist abstract expressionism interprets the evolution into life itself over time and space through the physics of force and movement; the hue and colour of chemistry; leaving an imprint of instance. Favouring uncomplicated shades of bold primary colours, softly fading ombres and monochromes, each of the expressive visible brush marks are traces of the transfer of energy the artist experiences while painting.

Miranda Trojanowska ARTIST SHOWCASE 81

Peacock, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 75 cm

82 ARTIST SHOWCASE Miranda Trojanowska

Always on my Mind, 2017, mixed media, 70 x 70 cm

Miranda Trojanowska ARTIST SHOWCASE 83

Forgiveness, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 75 cm

84 ARTIST SHOWCASE Miranda Trojanowska

Swirls of my Imagination, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 60 cm

Miranda Trojanowska ARTIST SHOWCASE 85

Tangerine Dream, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 60 cm


Upcoming artist exhibitions AĹĄot Haas Zilina, Slovakia 14 December 2017- 15 January 2018

Francesco Ruspoli Spectrum Miami Art Fair Miami, USA 6 - 10 December 2017 PAKS Gallery Vienna, Austria 26 January 2017 - 24 April 2018

Miranda Trojanowska Succession, Sheffield Until March 2018

Nikos Lamprinos Anti-retro, Athens, Greece 1 - 14 December 2017

Stephen Tierney Works on Paper China Heights Gallery, Sydney 15 - 17 December 2017

Tiffany Scull Christmas show Foss Fine Art, London Until 31 December 2017 Making Dorset Winter show Bridport Arts centre Dorset 7 - 20 December 2017

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Inside Artists - Issue 11  
Inside Artists - Issue 11  

Paint, plaster, wood and ink are all powerful resources in the hands of an artist, and the ability to transform their chosen material from i...