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A Beautiful Death Giant Snails

& Tiny Lions

st March 21 2013 May 16, 2013

Copyright 2013 View Art Gallery The rights of View Art Gallery as author of the work has been asserted to them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.


A Beautiful Death

View Art Gallery presents a group show

A Beautiful Death May 16 - July 7, 2013

View Art Gallery 159-161 Hotwells Road Bristol BS8 4RY United Kingdom for enquiries: +44 (0)5603 116753


JAMES HOLDSWORTH Controlled chaos, humor and horror are all merged in James Holdsworth’s extraordinary paintings. Seemingly playful on first appearance, James paints to visually express his understanding about existence in the 21st century and references to the past. His work aims to examine society’s lusts and desire with fortune and fame and, consequentially, to highlight our insecurities. Recognizable figures from all walks of life are typically paired with iconographic cartoon characters. Through this, James seeks to expose the dark reality behind the glossy facade. The cartoons act as a representation of a consumer-laden dream world behind which lies layers of a more brutal reality. His painting technique and palette serve to reinforce this message. Through dark, dripping paint covering images of newspaper clippings in his background and bright, pastels filling his cartoon characters, his message is conveyed.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ collage, oil on canvas 115 x 115 cm £3,800

Fairwell My Lovely collage, oil on canvas 92 x 122 cm ÂŁ3,500

Sitting for Picasso collage, oil on canvas 101 x 132 cm ÂŁ3,800

My Generation Baby collage, oil on canvas 115 x 115 cm ÂŁ3,800

STUART MITCHELL Following on from his success with 2D work in previous exhibitions at View, Stuart has made some exquisite animation installations where he collaborates with Beth Carter. The first is ‘Deja Vu’, where the moving image is displayed within a traditional ‘theatre box’ and immediately causes surprise and wonderment when the animation starts. From an apparent still black and white drawing by Beth Carter, an inanimate rocking horse in a domestic setting is replaced by a skeletal horse that comes to life entering a dream-like landscape. Freed from his restriction as a playroom rocking horse, his heart beats until the fire returns burning for a while before finally extinguishing as the sequence begins again. The second piece, ‘The Shining Guest’, is also housed in the old style wooden box, reminiscent of a Victorian puppet show. It features a miniature horse balancing on string being held by human hands. A girl appears on the horse and, during a dance sequence, her head turns into different objects spinning and changing scale. Physically, these pieces combine modern and tradition, with new technology inside old wooden boxes. As the boxes are opened, an initial element of surprise, as the animation begins, is followed by imagery full of imagination and story-telling. These absorbing sequences can be watched (and heard) over and over again, each time building on the personal story inside one’s head.

Deja Vu mixed media 8 x 11 x 8 inches, edition of 5 ÂŁ3,500

next page: The Shining Guest mixed media 8 x 10 x 7 inches, edition of 5 ÂŁ3,500

SAM BASSETT Describing his own work as an attempt to “make the mundane, dirty and uncontrollable things in life look pretty,” Sam Bassett’s paintings are simultaneously arresting and beautiful. The inspiration for his paintings largely stems from personal experiences. They act as a documentary of his life, one of everyday thoughts and conversations visualized. Fascinating insights into fragments from his memory; snippets of conversations, daily occurrences and personal reflections play a vital part in these extraordinary pieces. His creative practice consists of working and reworking with varying layers to produce and expand the activity and texture of each individual piece. The result is visually rich and engaging, underpinned with a dark sense of humor.

Eaten in Bed mixed media on panel 122 x 122 cm £3,960


Boy in Dress Melted mixed media on panel 25 x 25 cm ÂŁ660


Night Fishing Gwidden mixed media on panel 45 x 45 cm ÂŁ1,100

Chest Shot watercolour on stained paper 30 x 21 cm ÂŁ660

Go Away Dirty Feet watercolour on stained paper 30 x 21 cm ÂŁ660

Together in You mixed media on panel 25 x 25 cm £660 Prince Charming mixed media on panel 24 x 24 cm £660

Escape From Hairy Man mixed media on panel 122 x 132 cm £4,100

SHERROD BARNES-GINIFER “The beauty of death is how it highlights the preciousness of living”- Sherrod Barnes Ginifer’s sculptures seek to remind us of this through their unadulterated freedom and energy. The subject of much of Sherrod’s work is the challenge in life to love and feel free simultaneously. Seeking escape from constraints, she therefore creates figures that move, dance, fly and fall through space. Her work also hints at a more sinister concept. The emphasis placed on these overt displays of thrill seeking and risk taking can simultaneously be seen as a temptation to death. We all want freedom and fun, but can this pursuit of selfish desire also lead to destruction? “As for death, I say try to live a beautiful life and ignore it”

Marriage ceramic 50 x 36 x 38 cm £800

Fearless ceramic 106 x 59 x 27 cm ÂŁ880

Not Alone ceramic 29 x 56 x 33 cm ÂŁ880

HANNAH LEWIS DAVIES Visually exhilarating and full of wonder; Hannah Lewis Davies’ magical images transport the viewer into the oneiric worlds of our childhood. The irrational notion of escapism, the ability to retreat from the mundane reality of life and enter into an ulterior fantasy world, is the primary inspiration behind these enchanting works. Enriched in vibrant, dynamic colours, if we could create a colour palette for our world it would surely look like these paintings. Drawing heavily on fleeting childhood memo- ries, her art hovers between the boundaries of reality and fantasy. They entice us to enter these captivating spaces unrestricted by logic and recall the innocence of youth. Disengage with reality and enter into a place of marvel and contentment through Hannah Lewis Davies.

Away Land acrylic on canvas 92 x 123 cm ÂŁ2,200

The Bird House acrylic on canvas 92 x 123 cm ÂŁ2,200

Alcazar acrylic on canvas 92 x 123 cm ÂŁ2,200

JOHN CLARK Vivacious, tumultuous and rich in narrative; John Clark’s paintings focus on the human condition. His work plays with the mythologies that saturate the modern workplace: professionalism, teamwork, inclusion, commitment, and the quiet desperation these notions produce. Drawn from memory and otherwise imagined scenarios, his work constructs familiar situations that become stranger and starker the longer one spends amongst them. Throughout these images, the viewer is presented with figures glimpsed in action: standing, colliding, lifting and falling, their actions implausible, dynamic and melodramatic. Although often infused with a certain element of humour, his work retains a degree of tragedy and is extremely attentive to the mounting pressure of everyday existence. Be amused by, and relate to, John Clark’s imaginative illustrations of stereotypical dilemmas.

Emergency Room oil on canvas 76 x 102 cm ÂŁ3,100

On the Shoulders of Giants oil on canvas 92 x 61 cm ÂŁ3,100

Consequences oil on canvas 41 x 31 cm ÂŁ395 each

above: Splat oil on canvas 41 x 31 cm £485

right: Change of Heart oil and charcoal on canvas 76 x 61 cm £1,100

BETH CARTER Integrating mythology, allegory and symbolism, Beth Carter’s enchanting work inspires both a pure child-like response whilst simultaneously provoking deeper adult themes. Beth’s expansive imagination is exemplified by the unusual characters she creates through amalgamation of the human figure with animal form. Whilst seemingly humorous and playful, her figures also project an undercurrent of sadness, pity and fear. Ever seeking new levels into the symbolic use of animal imagery, whether through her drawings or sculptures, the result consistent in all forms is an almost eerie amount of life projecting from an inanimate object.

Tristan bronze, edition of 15 22 x 16 x 18 cm £1,860

Badger bronze resin, guilded paws, edition of 15 55 x 40 x 17 cm ÂŁ2,100

Curio charcoal on paper 56 x 67 cm ÂŁ1,150

LUCY WILLOW Grotesque yet beautiful, attractive yet repellent, Lucy Willow’s photographs seek to confront societal attitudes towards death. The main body of her work consists of a series of manipulated still life photographs that give you a sense that what you are looking at is rotting, dripping and decaying before your eyes. These melancholic images serve to remind us of the beauty of life and the inevitability of death. Using a combination of objects, which carry personal significance for her, and an appropriation of 17th century imagery from Vanitas still life paintings such as the skull, bubble, rotting fruit an jewellery, Lucy constructs scenes which aim to explore cultural codes, social laws and taboos. Gothic, dark and enchanting, Willow’s photographs blend and confuse the boundaries of reality and fantasy.

front cover: Last Void photogrpahic print, edition of 3 32 x 32 cm £540 right: Primordial Darkness photogrpahic print, edition of 3 32 x 32 cm £540

above: Endless Sleep 1 & 2 mixed media in boxed frame 37 x 15 cm £355 each

Endless Void photogrpahic print, edition of 3 32 x 32 cm £540

SIMON LEDSON Perception, fragility and time are embedded within Simon Ledson’s exquisite art. His latest body of work entitled A Beautiful Death comprises of a series of mixed media print mandalas. Each mandala has 12 sections to it and features drawings of symbolic body parts. The emphasis lies firmly on the male and female reproductive systems, symbolising the creation of life. The circular shape of the mandala and the geometric, balanced and ordered presentation of this subject matter is intended to illustrate a complete life cycle, from conception to death. Simon views his work as a tool to examine the paradoxical, ambiguous, ambivalent and precarious relationship we all have with the physical world and to document the process of various uncontrollable absolutes such as change, fragility, time and death. “For something to die, there has to be life, for life to start.”

following pages: Mandala 1-5 giclee print, hand tinted in blood and semen 100 x 100 cm £1,100 each

La Petite Mort - Brain bronze resin, edition 5 ÂŁ380

La Petite Mort - Pelvis bronze resin, edition 5 ÂŁ1,300

FRAN WILLIAMS Deeply evocative figures, richly textured canvases and elusive settings draw you into an ulterior world. The surfaces of her canvases play an integral part of her creative practice. Although not always visible once the work is complete, Fran is constantly writing random words, thoughts, lyrics and questions, onto the surfaces of her paintings. She sees this as a personal journey, which is then completed once reaching the viewer as they are left to interpret it subjectively. An established popular exhibitor at the gallery, Fran’s art never fails to touch the viewer and stimulates multiple emotional responses. We may feel ‘broken’ sadness, abandoned joy, torment, longing or desperation.

Blue Skies oil on panel 90 x 120 cm ÂŁ3,300

The Seemingly Impossible oil on panel 120 x 90 cm ÂŁ3,300

NIGEL ODDY A 50 year- old mummified cat, composite resins and atomized metal, Nigel Oddy’s latest series of work explores birth, death and the space in between. It was the chance discovery of a 50 year-old mummified cat that led Nigel to research the complex subject of Entropy. In its simplest form, Entropy is the process of “moving from order to disorder.” In relation to Oddy’s works this concept has been developed in his sculptures of birds. Comprised of composite resins and metal, entropy is illustrated as particles of paint, once held together, are stripped from their binders and fall into disorder. Aluminium sheets, etched by regents and flooded with paint and solvents, create abstract visual poems. Oddy’s work aims to propose the question of what makes the object in front of our eyes beautiful, what stage of life’s extraordinary journey is most harmonious to you the viewer? Oddy highlights the extraordinary reality of life that no two people will see the same hue of colour, no two people will view the same object in the same way, we each interpret life and everything in it in our own unique way.

images to follow

CLAIRE JACKSON Unusual, detailed and aesthetically curious; explore the wonders of science and nature through Claire Jackson’s unique sculptures. The material polycaprolactone, which Claire uses for her work, is integral to her creative practice, both for the strange intrinsic biomorphic forms it creates, as she sees it as reflecting the beauty and simplicity of forms found in nature, and also for the intensity of the sensations experienced by the viewer through this use of an unfamiliar and surreal medium. Using a wide range of sources of inspiration such as quantum physics, metaphorical representations of life and the soul and the cellular aesthetic of viruses, she aims for her work to intrigue and enable the viewer to interpret it in their own personal way.

Every Second Wounds polycarprolactone, goose egg, key 15 x 10 x 11 cm ÂŁ195

Batak Hatching Vessel polycarprolactone, goose egg 16 x 7 x 7 cm ÂŁ195

Corticeps 2 polycarprolactone, goose egg 21 x 10 x 13 cm ÂŁ175

Birth of a New Star polycarprolactone, goose egg, acrylic 52 x 35 x 25 cm ÂŁ285


A Beautiful Death  

Exhibition catalogue for View Art Gallery