FBA Futures 2017

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9 to 20 January 2017 Mall Galleries The Mall, London SW1

FBA Futures is proudly sponsored by

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FBA Futures 2017 Mall Galleries is proud to present the fifth edition of FBA Futures, the gallery’s annual showcase of outstanding work by the latest art graduates, selected from across the country by members of the Federation of British Artists (FBA). FBA Futures maps new practices from British Art Schools, inviting audiences to discover emerging talent and experience exciting new work. This year’s show is the biggest so far, featuring 57 works by 22 artists. It is an exciting mix of degree show and newly made painting, sculpture, drawing, and original prints, all exploring contemporary figuration and ideas of representation and draughtsmanship. The diverse practices of the artists taking part in the exhibition explore the links between figuration and abstraction as different means to representing the world around us. All the artists in this year’s show share a need to reflect the world around them, going beyond just representing physicality by interpreting social realities and personal experiences. Art school is an environment of debate, interrogation and quite often collaboration. The work that an artist produces during those years of their career can reveal so much about their aspirations: the artist that they want to be but also the artist that they are becoming. With this exhibition, Mall Galleries seeks to reconsider relations of morphology of figuration and abstraction. We constantly seek to embrace the ever changing condition of contemporary art.

The Artists Jan Agha

University of Hertfordshire

Ed Burkes

The Falmouth School of Art

Kristina Chan Tayler Fisher

Royal College of Art Loughborough University

Mark Goldby

Wimbledon College of Art

Janine Hall

Wimbledon College of Art

Evie-May Hatch Felix Higham

Camberwell College of Arts Central Saint Martins

Liu Huiting

Chelsea College of Arts

Tae Yeon Kim

Slade School of Fine Art

Louise Madsen InĂŞs-Hermione Mulford Conor Murgatroyd Jack Paffett

Goldsmiths, University of London Edinburgh College of Art Chelsea College of Arts The Falmouth School of Art

Diane Rogan

City & Guilds of London Art School

James Rogers

Camberwell College of Arts

Devlin Shea

Slade School of Fine Art

Sophie Shickle

Slade School of Fine Art

Jenny Smith Margaux Valengin

Turps Art School Royal College of Art

Faye Wei Wei

Slade School of Fine Art

Sophie Zhang

Slade School of Fine Art

Jan Agha Portrait of Shams al Tabraiz Oil on canvas, 100 x 50 cm “I like to explore the impulses of self and the cultural barriers built around me without using any native cultural references. Instead, I use the impulses that are provoked from coming from a different background into a contemporary society, and aim to make religious and cultural iconography of my own. The colours I use are rhythms that explore intimate feelings such as angst, infatuation and sexuality. From super-sacred to hyper-sexual, my work explores the figure, flesh and the alchemy of paint.�

Ed Burkes Old Boy (red and blue) Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 cm “My work is sparked from a commonplace drawing or situation: A friend drinking coffee, a buddy pulling up his socks, a pretty girl in the fruit and veg section of Tesco express. Through the process of painting these preliminary considerations begin to wobble out of sync to a point where their distinctiveness as a primary source slips away. This introduces the opportunity for the work to embody its own honesty where identity stands as a framework to the painting, unfixed in its dwelling as the viewers’ considerations take hold.”

Kristina Chan Between Our Seas: Panoramic Print Panel 1 Lithography, relief mono print, drawing, 137 x 101 cm “My practice is predicated upon the investigation of social anthropology, individual and collective histories, through site specific analysis. I seek out places and sites whose histories haunt and interrupt the present. I choose sites that silence: The vacant hotel. The landlocked ship. The dead cave. These spaces contradict themselves, and now, stand empty, abandoned, and evacuated. Yet still they stand, offering instead an epoch of accumulated contexts and experiences, far beyond our own. My work is a series of minimal, often incomplete narratives: like torn pages of a story I attempt to reassemble an experience lived out of order. Anachronisms isolate themselves, still time and demand pause. They hold us.�

Tayler Fisher pd2 Wire, insulation wool, mannequin, plaster, & wood 175 x 70 x 50 cm “My work reconstitutes and bends familiar notions, in which reality is distorted to discover a truer existence. The human condition is examined and reflected upon as we travel further away from our true, physical selves, towards distant, monstrous apparitions, racing towards apocalypse. Regressed, twisted, bestial beings, rooted in humanoid forms, are brought before us in the gallery space, offering an insight into the alien dystopia they have struggled to grow from. The damaged figures and their environments put a mirror to our own presence, in which individual thought and substance is deterred whereas fear, pain and conformity is encouraged. This weariness is embraced as an underlying ideology through paintings, sculptures, sound and video, in an uncomfortable, sinister manner. The work acts as personal exorcising and becomes an attempt to confront the viewer.�

Mark Goldby Homoplasticus Found object & plastic, 40 x 90 x 50 cm “How do our identities shift as we move between physical, social and psychological environments? I posit that these points of transition allow us to peel back the surface of our identity to uncover the underlying fears and desires that inform our personality. ​ Currently I am looking at the thresholds of skin and the passing of bodies between digital and actual worlds. I document my own transformation as I move between these thresholds by capturing digital self portraits with photography, scanners and digital manipulation. My most recent project, Homoplasticus, looks at the transformation of skin from actual to digital and back again, using close up scans of my body and plastic forms that represent the digital screen.”

Janine Hall ‘Morning’ (Interior 2) Pencil on paper, 59.5 x 42 cm “My practice appears to follow the fashion of a Japanese literary style that believes the truest representation of the searching mind is to ‘follow the brush’ or in my case ‘follow the pencil’. My most recent work has been exploring the world of shadows, the abstract light and shade, shapes created by the continuously moving sun, to the static shadow created by a neon light that throws a still life in fragile relief against a wall. I’d like to think the shadow drawings reflect a still, quiet moment.”

Evie-May Hatch Malignant Tumour of the Uterus Silverpoint on paper treated with zinc, sanguine and bone ash, 14 x 21 cm “Outside of the body the uterus becomes an exposed, displaced form. Wax melts at blood temperature and becomes malleable in the heat of my hands making the act of forming the models, as one might the portrait of a person, an intimate one. The technique of silverpoint, drawn with a silver stylus on a prepared ground, slows the eye down, lending time to look long and closely. Through the discipline and attention required in drawing and modelling, I wish to reveal that the specimen and the diseases that afflict them are as individual as the unknown woman from whom the organ was removed.�

Felix Higham Untitled (three people) Oil, acrylic & enamel on canvas, 50 x 75 cm “Portraying the human form while the mind is elsewhere, I use the grotesque to highlight the discrepancies in social interaction. Taking figures from life and then exaggerating them, I place them within everyday scenes in order to display individual human narratives unable to connect or communicate with one another.�

Liu Huiting Stories about becoming old - 15 Mixed media, 35 x 30 cm “My creative experience, most of which has been the exploration of recollection, is the scenery of past life and always rests on my emotions. Moving from a small town to a city and now to a metropolis has had an important influence on my thought processes. Strolling in the cities, seeing things quite familiar, my memories from the past are woken up. I often shuttle back and forth between concepts of ‘site’ and ‘memory’. That unexpected place where reality and imagination meet becomes my primary source of inspiration.”

Tae Yeon Kim Crying needled love Etching, 42.5 x 35 cm (edition of 5) “My works deals with human interactions and encounters, in particular by exploring the disjunction between ideal, fantastical worlds, and the reality of everyday relationships. Through my use of line I describe multisensory stimuli in an attempt to uncover the ambiguous boundaries in relationships. This interest has recently led me to explore the most elusive encounter of meeting someone new; first impressions and the inevitable changes as the relationship deepens. To capture the sensual and psychological effects of these encounters I have made a series of drawings and prints that are portraits driven by direct observation of the unacquainted.�

Louise Madsen Untitled (Top) Plaster, polystyrene, PVA, acrylic paint, MDF, perspex sheets 50 x 60 x 40 cm “My works demonstrate an investigative approach to how we encounter objects. It is an examination of intimacy and surface and the various ideas these can provide in regard to an understanding of the world and our place in it. The language of design and minimalism is a point of departure, while their more temperamental nature engages the uncertainty and complexity of everyday life. It is most often the materials’ qualities of being too familiar giving way to the them becoming increasingly odd or even alien as I focus on them, that attracts, puzzles and provides me with a nervous energy.”

Inês-Hermione Mulford Surgical Still Life Oil on board, 92 x 122 cm “​This painting is one of a series I produced in reflection on my time spent shadowing craniofacial surgeons at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. While the status of skill in art, especially representational art, is continuously challenged in the contemporary art world, skills are the foundation of surgery. Although they are very separate professions today, historically artists and surgeons could be one and the same. This honed skill of manual dexterity is just as important in surgery as it is in my own painting. As stated by Tim Ingold ‘every hand-drawn line is a trace of a gesture’ just as every gesture made by the surgeon with the scalpel leaves a mark, a scar, the surgeon leaves a trace of what once was. It is the notion of drawing as a process of thinking, not the projection of a thought (Phipps 2006). The precision and care surgeons take when undergoing surgery is reflected in my paintings.”

Conor Murgatroyd Modern German Art 1938, An Egg and a Darts Cabinet, October 2016 Humbrol Enamel on watercolour paper, 71.5 x 41 cm “Painting still lifes shifts the singular object to a point of symbolic importance akin to the tradition of painting. Using this idea as the spine of these works allows the paintings to become a kind of stage in which different phenomena of the past can respond to each other. In these three paintings I am exploring the relevance of a diminished culture looking at the remnants of different periods of time within the context of modern day Britain.�

Jack Paffett Fracture Oil & acrylic on canvas, 110 x 85 cm “The paintings don’t have end points; they continually evolve through the application of paint, in a struggle to find what only paint can display. Allowing aesthetic qualities on the canvas to determine my next action, the paintings sit in an area of tension between construction and destruction; they are over painted, erased, before being built up again. Each layer of paint leaves remnants of what was there before, a glimpse of colour, or a notion of texture. The paintings evolve through references to experiences. I like the idea of the paint being in a constant transgression, slipping from one conclusion to the next, reflecting the fluid nature of the paint. Marks aren’t organised, encouraging the viewer to bring their own memories and emotions to the canvas, leaving them to decipher and question the ambiguous space in front of them.”

Diane Rogan Wild Space 3 Oil on flax, 95 x 65 cm “The body of work that I have made for the MA degree show which I have titled This is Nobody’s Land, is about secret urban spaces, what I have called ‘wild space’. Through this theme I am exploring the relationship between urban space, power relationships, the surface of things and community and culture.“

James Rogers Pictured: James’ 3D printer, with which he prints small models of himself and other objects that relate to his paintings. “Ultimately my practice serves to investigate the mythologies, technologies, and biologies of the contemporary individual and the network of identity and intimacy they form with their image, and object saturated environments. My work is very autobiographical, self absorbed in its initial reception, but then traces these characteristics further, finding their roots and source of influence in the world. Geographically, I’m building upon my younger years spent in the leftover industrial culture of Wolverhampton, the influences of my father working as an electrician, as well as my own pursuits in the arts and technologies.”

Devlin Shea Ankle Grab Oil on linen, 190 x 150 cm “My figures appear to be caught somewhere between humour and stark vulnerability. Black and white with stripped down linear marks, there is a lack of pretense in the simplicity of their construction. In Ankle Grab two figures sit entwined. The weight of the bodies and shared lines echo the weight of the relationship. The larger figure stares into space, perhaps distracted by the object in hand. A vignette has emerged on the back of the smaller figure - etched like a mnemonic hieroglyphic depicting a tug of war. Ankle Grab makes the act of contentious and needy intimacy its centrifugal narrative.�

Sophie Shickle The Touching One Powder coated mild steel, 180 x 26 x 26 cm “The Touching One is the indistinct line between what’s fact and what’s fiction. It’s the manifestation of the idea that exploration happens through touch; a physical and visual understanding of whether something is real or imagined. I aim to capture the tone and surrounding culture of historical space exploration and the surprising parallels to science fiction. The work is a product of a blurred imagination; projecting elegance, humour and gravity. Two distinctive curves intertwine, touching, supporting and exploring two and three-dimensional space. It’s the tension point between drawing and sculpture—between the earth and vastness of the universe.”

Jenny Smith Fodder Oil on canvas, 110 x 85 cm “I am interested in the division between what we openly share and what we desperately want to keep to ourselves. Concealed embarrassments and wanton impulses collapse onto the canvas, given life outside the confines of our minds. Women, derived in part from Margaret Atwood novels, identify with their animal counterparts, as man and beast rage together, with the hysteria of a Punch and Judy show. I come to know the characters inhabiting my paintings over time, as they are coerced into being. They are born from collaged shapes and cutouts and reside in a subverted world that is at once nurturing and also menacing.�

Margaux Valengin Growing Out Oil on canvas, 46 x 36 cm “In my work, images are structures that function both visually and metaphorically. Images seduce and awaken symbolism rooted in a sort of collective unconscious. For me they are a drive to paint. The objects in my work are metaphors for inner states; they speak for what I feel. Often my attention is drawn to mythology, mainly because myths are powerful metaphors. Functioning as visual metaphors, my paintings can express strength, growth, femininity, masculinity, a sense of swimming, a sense of floating, etc. In this regard, they tell more than what they represent.�

Faye Wei Wei Madonna and Kiss it and ye know, life is an ethereal flower Oil on canvas, 182 x 137 cm and Oil on linen, 85 x 65 cm “Children beware of this many broken world — not even Mary’s blue swathes will save you now. A gorgeous blue like the jewel that Biski wins from Greed Island. Two flat tin Honolulu honey’s lips, red, sat on the beach looking out at the egg yolk sun—contemplating cabbages. And that time you sat in the forest eating spam sandwiches as Omari told you a story about a man who really wanted the perfect lemon. That man who would do anything for the perfect lemon. How fragrant it sits now in your hand.”

Sophie Zhang Symphony Oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm “While my work stresses the materiality of paint, I always use symbolic allusions to my Chinese ethnicity or images from my daily life as a starting point. References in my painting range from traditional Chinese architectural patterns, ancient proverbs, to an often neglected corner in the studio at the Slade. As my painting carries on, however, the subject matter no longer holds much significance, but merely becomes a vehicle to embody my expression.“

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