Thursday, 11 December 2014

Interview: Richard T Scott

by  George Upton  I

When did you know you would become an artist?

I’ve painted since I can remember. My mother told me that I started intently painting around six.
But it wasn’t until I witnessed a school shooting at the age of 18 that I knew it would be my career. After that, it wasn’t so much that I made a decision, but rather my perspective had shifted and I simply knew.

Where did you train?

After moving to NYC with little more than two dimes to rub together, I studied at the New York Academy of Art. Subsequently, I painted for Jeff Koons for two years and then apprenticed with Odd Nerdrum for three years.

The Sophist

You have stated that you divide your time between the US and Paris? Why Paris?

I moved to Paris because of Odd Nerdrum. He had a summer home there, which he asked me to look after and help manage the other students. While living amongst the decaying grandeur of Nerdrum’s palatial estate, I fell in love with the culture, the food, the people, and so I made connections in Paris and began exhibiting at Galerie L’Oeil du Prince, which is still my primary gallery.

Why painting over other artistic mediums? 

I’ve tried many other media, from writing to photography, installation, printmaking, ceramics to video, but none of them could quite express my thoughts and emotions the way that I desired.
For me painting is a first language. Of course, this has made my path difficult at times - as the market and major institutions reward work that synthesizes forms rather than ventures deeply into one. And though, I have no quarrel with others making art that skims pleasantly across the broad placid surface, I’m more intrigued by the depths of the abyss below.
Though, I realize that this quality separates my work from the contemporary, I don’t see that as a problem.


Why do you paint figuratively? What is it about figurative painting rather than conceptual art that attracts you?

Firstly, I don’t believe that painting figuratively is necessarily non-conceptual. The works of the Old Masters expressed profound and poignant concepts. Further, there are many conceptual artists today who make figurative paintings... though what they do is categorically divergent from what I do. So, I understand what you mean. Conceptual art tends to be cerebral, which I find entertaining, but it also tends to be emotionless. It follows Kant’s principle of aesthetic indifference. On the other side of the coin, some abstract painting may convey some degree of raw emotion, but it doesn’t convey it precisely, nor does it convey narrative, allegory, or depth of meaning. I find intellectual games and experimentation interesting, but ultimately not very meaningful, and neither cathartic nor transformative. For that my work requires both conceptual depth and emotional poignancy.
To make work that speaks both to the mind and the heart requires a language that the viewer can apprehend immediately, intuitively, pre-cognitively. And we humans are wired to respond in the most subtle and powerful ways to other humans.

This is yet another reason I’ve little interest in painting in a Contemporary style as in order to speak in the literary, Post Modern language of Contemporary art, I would have to sacrifice a great deal of emotional potency, aesthetics, and compositional structure in order to set the stage for linguistic inquiry into the context of the piece. The path of distillation/deconstruction traced from Modern to Post Modern thought was a valuable path of analysis, but I feel that I’ve graduated from that school of thought and have embarked on a different path.

Quite a number of painters, composers, and authors I know have found themselves following this path of reconstruction - and finding each other - we’ve realized that we belong to something of a mass exodus from the linear path of Art History. In an attempt to understand what we’ve observed, I’ve been outlining the parameters of our shared philosophy, which lead me to discover the term Post-Contemporary. Coined by Primo Levi in the 1980's, and since forgotten, it seemed to define perfectly, the reconstructive ethos to which we all gravitate.

Just as “Modern Art” is defined by stylistic parameters rather than the actual meaning of the term, “Contemporary Art” holds its own stylistic and philosophical limitations, chief among them is the primacy of the transient “now”, rather than the themes relevant to any human era.

The House by the River Lethe

How does figurative art continue to be relevant today?

Figurative painting and sculpture has always been relevant because we have always been human. And it will continue to be relevant as long as humans live somewhere in the cosmos.

Many of your scenes have a timelessness to them and often feature period interiors or costumes. Is this influenced by the style in which you paint or for another reason? 

We are interesting beings. We walk backwards into the future, peering into the hazy past, for that is all we can see. But those who can see farther, perhaps beyond the horizon, may have a better understanding of what they might stumble upon behind them. In some ways we are like the men in Plato’s allegory of the cave.

This is why my interest lies in expressing human experiences that transcend time, culture, and geography. Even when I paint something that clearly takes place today, my goal is to find the universal... the timeless, the meaning that will transcend our own time and place and retain its meaning for people a thousand years from now. I’m more interested in the light source than the shadows it casts on the wall.


Nudity, in one way or another, features heavily for your work (and saw some of your work removed from Facebook). Why? 

The nude is an excellent vessel for conveying meaning without the context of time, culture, or social standing.

Is there one movement that influences you more than another in your work?

The Baroque period is certainly the strongest influence and Romanticism and Symbolism are close to my heart as well. Nevertheless, what I do is not limited to drawing upon the tradition of 20th or the 16th century, but is free to be sincerely and unabashedly influenced by every era. I prefer to have an unconstrained historical palette with which to paint, and I’ve noticed that I’m far from alone in this.

Apart from art, what inspires you? Especially with regard to your compositions.

Much of my work draws upon philosophy, theoretical physics, and literature - particularly magic realists such as Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges. More recently, I’ve been trying to make sense of personal experiences, specifically the school shooting I witnessed as a teenager, which has spawned an interest in the politics of identity, and the history and origins of violence in the American culture. My hope is that somehow my work can be a means of questioning, a path to better understanding, and a means of healing. I believe that even the subtle shift in perspective that the arts can bring to our lives, both as one who creates and one who experiences the creation, like the butterfly effect, does nothing less than influence the path of culture.

Rosemary and Rue

All images are reproduced courtesy of the artist. For more on Richard T Scott see his website here.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Emilie Pugh 'IN-TRA' at Asylum, London

by  George Upton  I

Last night saw the opening of Emilie Pugh’s exhibition, IN-TRA, with collaborator Alice von Maltzahn, who studied with Pugh and shares an interest in drawing) at Asylum London in Peckham, curated by Contemporary Key. This spectacular space, the chapel of London’s largest collection of almshouses, gutted by an incendiary bomb in the Second World War and never restored, was a fitting place to house Pugh’s ethereal works on paper. Candles uplit the degraded frescoed walls and her striking, delicate art. 

Detail of Anatomy of Thought

Pugh works slowly and painstakingly to form her images. She never sketches out each piece but instead lets each line and smouldered hole inform the next. Adding incense sticks and gunpowder to the traditional draftsman’s repertoire, she approaches the paper not as simply as surface on which to mark-make but as a medium in itself. 

In past works Pugh has been interested in pushing drawing to its furthest extent, burning the paper to achieve rich, dark blacks, as in the monumental ‘Anatomy of Thought’. Covering a wall in The Courtauld Institute of Art in Gampi paper, Pugh over several months worked it into fantastic billowing lines. The effect is as if an Old Master sketch has been deconstructed and the lines are scattered to the wind, left to form traces of the air; this echo of art history betraying Pugh’s interest in Old Master artwork in addition to her training at The Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford University.

Cloud Root Diptych

At Asylum, while exhibiting some works by the same methods as before, Pugh has taken a more comprehensive consideration of her medium. Not only working the surface of the paper, she has developed her investigation into the ‘delicate balance between the transitory and the permanent’. Charred holes, sometimes large but often minuscule, delicate, cause the paper to gain a ephemeral state that forms and deforms and glimmers as you move around it. They evoke the trauma caused to the building that houses them and yet the steadied, deliberate act that produced them is not the indiscriminate destruction of explosive. 

Rather, each piece is a process of many hours of careful, repetitive work, reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s obsessive Infinity Nets. ‘86400 voids’ is formed of 86400 burnt holes and took the artist 24 hours to make. Pugh believes this meticulous production creates an aura around the work, expressing ‘subtle distortions’ that convey the ‘nuances of human emotions’. 


The works in the exhibition are all idiosyncratically by Pugh - minimal, paired down and yet expressive and captivating- but the artist approaches this in a different ways. The works on paper, either charred and worked at with pen and pencil, or burnt through, are accompanied with a more sculptural approach to the material. In one work, Pugh has layered the paper that she then burns though to form the an inverse topography that recedes into the frame. In another she has printed onto glass to be projected from a lightbox to great effect. 

In many ways, this exhibition functions as a showcase for Pugh’s continued and continuing exploration into paper and its use as a medium. Sadly, it is only running for two days but check her website for more information and her previous work.

Anatomy of Thought

Installation view of Asylum, London

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Interview: Thomas Richards of The Florence Academy of Art

by  George Upton  I

Congratulations on your new position as Principle Instructor in Advanced Painting, how did you come to find yourself at The Florence Academy of Art?
In the first instance Jamie Coreth asked me to give a lecture (back in February this year) and things moved quite quickly from there. The whole ‘family’ at FAA, from Daniel and Susan through to the first year students, have been incredibly welcoming and supportive from day one. 

Where did you train?
I got an MA in Art History at the University of St Andrews and trained as a painter under Charles H. Cecil and I am learning a lot in the new environment.

What is more important - teaching or your art?
I like to think that they feed into one another. The instructor learns too because teaching constantly forces you to evaluate your own approach and to clarify your thinking. Another great thing about teaching is that it puts you in a community, one that supports you and can act as a sounding board. If I just lived between my apartment and studio I might go nuts! 

Having a guaranteed income also lightens the economic pressure and allows me more freedom with my work- most artists have to compromise either on time (teaching) or with subject matter (to sell their work). 

Finally to come at it from the other side- my teaching is constantly informed by my successes and failures as a painter and the more experience I get the better I will be able to help and advise the students. 

What do you look for in the sources of your work? What do you like to paint?
There is nothing specific, although I believe that the human face is a thing of timeless interest. Almost from the moment we are born we spend so much time trying to work out who we are and how we relate to other people via facial expressions. If I got bored of looking at faces/heads I would be worried about what that would say about me as a person, my sense of inquiry and empathy.

Who do you look for in terms of your inspiration, and in terms of the style that you work in?
The painters I most admire are Titian and Rembrandt. Through their work they explored what it means to be human, and all the wondrous mess that goes with it. I share studio space with two other painters: Tanvi Pathare and Amy Moseley, working alongside them is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement. The initial spark for a painting can come from anywhere and in that way I value friends who are not painters as they can prompt me to do different things and see the world from outside the studio related bubble.

How close do you try to get to techniques and materials of the past? 
It is not an all encompassing obsession but quite a lot of the materials I use, like lead white, have not been adequately replaced by more recent attempts to find equivalents. When painting I really try to find my own way and then, when I get stuck my first instinct is to look and see if there might be a way out hinted at in the work of the painters I most admire- and that applies to technical as well as aesthetic problems. 

Is it important to you to be painting and teaching in Florence? Has that influenced the way you work?
I knew when I was 16 that I wanted to paint and live in Florence. There are the obvious things like the beauty of the physical environment. Related to that is the relative absence of advertising, compared to London where I grew up. You are not constantly aware of what you don’t have/think you want and I think that material detachment does feed into some of the artistic choices that are made in the studio. It is also a city on a human scale and I believe that affects life in the city in a positive way, it is a small city where you can meet talented and motivated people from all over the world.

What is significant about depicting modern life in an old style?
Nothing in itself. Style is probably the last thing that I think about when I am working. The lighting in the pictures depends on the way I set up my studio- often using a small aperture of light. Light and shade helps me to understand the form and structure of what I am painting but it also helps me to communicate things about the subject that cannot be done through line and colour. It is as much about honouring an ambience - one that is generally stable but still subject to constant small changes- as copying what is there.

Your portraits nod considerably towards an art historical tradition and yet notably depict modern people. Have facial types changed? 
I don’t think so. If you look at drawings by Holbein, for example, the faces look incredibly ‘modern’, other artists seem to present their vision through a more obvious veil of style - especially when depicting women. Notions of what is beautiful and ideal have changed significantly, even in recent times - look at the bone structure of the faces chosen to go on the covers of Vogue Magazine fifty years ago and today.

How do you feel painting sits in the modern world of art production? How can it still be relevant?
I believe very strongly that (oil) painting is a medium capable of communicating everything from the simplest idea (e.g. Rubens painting his daughter) to the most profound and nuanced concepts (e.g. Sistine Ceiling). That was the case in Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy and is still the case today. I don’t think it needs to try to be relevant, if painters work with honesty and integrity then their work will always reflect themselves and their own time. The act of painting, particularly representational painting, is also connected with tradition and a work that can dialogue with the past and say something personal and real in the present has a richness that few other art forms can match. 

This post is illustrates with images of Thomas teaching and some of his art work, all courtesy of Thomas Richards

Monday, 10 November 2014

Anslem Kiefer at the Royal Academy of Arts

by  George Upton  I

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 as the dust settled from Hitler’s rubble strewn Reich. Kiefer never knew the War and yet in the largest exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK, currently exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, there is a sense of the devastated, defeated, guilt ridden landscape of Germany after surrender. Through painting, sculpture and books, Kiefer has attempted to come to terms with his national identity by exploring Nazi symbolism and mythology and confronting the uncomfortable reality of the Nazi regime.

The colossal, breathtaking Ash Flower (approximately 4 metres by 7 metres) is perhaps the best example of this. Characteristically for Kiefer, oil is combined with emulsion and acrylic, clay and earth, ash and sand, and has been aggregated on the canvas over a period of 15 years (1983-1997). The painting is dense with impasto, almost to the extent of hiding, as in a degraded photograph, the scene depicted behind - a long vertiginous perspective down the wide high-ceilinged hall of a building. Specifically, the building is the Mosaic Room of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, designed by Hitler’s architect Albert Speer. The muted palate, earthy but also evoking the degradation of copper, shows the building as a ruin; the impasto paint accumulated at the bottom of the work having decomposed into cracked earth. The dilapidated space, empty but for the melange of paint and a long sunflower, dried and bisecting the work, speaks of the faded glories and dreams of Nazi Germany - dreams that despite being universally vilified now were shared by the German people - and the hope of rebuilding from the ashes. 

Kiefer’s unflinching confrontation of Germany’s recent and, to many Germans, unpalatable history has seen him branded as a neo-Nazi. But in an early photograph, for example, a man silhouetted against the sea raising his arm in a Nazi salute (reprised in a painting, Heroic Symbol V (1970)), does not glorify the Nazis but decontextualises it from images of crowds of obedient people and instead impassively presents the machinery of the dictatorship. This interest is reflected in his attic series, empty lofts where Kiefer would paint, commenting on the mythologised history that qualified much of the Nazi’s racially based ideology. 

Kiefer also draws heavily on poetry, especially that of Paul Celan. Margarete (1981) was inspired by Celan’s Death Fugue in which the poet draws on his experience in a concentration camp and focuses on the titular character, a German prison guard and Shulamith, a prisoner. In the painting, strange, three dimensional organic structures grow out of the earth, at once evoking the blonde hair of Margarete (they are made of straw) and the barbed wire that she guards. The earth from which they grow are the ashes of Shulamith’s hair. The straw is topped with the flames of the furnace. 

Although not all his work is fixated on the rise and fall and aftermath of the National Socialist Party, throughout the RA show there is a rich darkness, a fertile gloom that evokes the terrible guilt Kiefer and other Germans have inherited. Perhaps because he is liberated in not having lived through the war, or perhaps out of his strength of character, Kiefer manages to directly confront the machinery through which the German people become complicit, unknowingly or otherwise, in the Nazi regime and the atrocities it committed. His work is a bold, composed and considered view of a country, a people and the artist himself rebuilding not just a land devastated by war but a nationality, devastated by fanaticism and dictatorship.

Images shown are of the courtyard of the Royal Academy and the vitrines made by Kiefer for the exhibitions.

Anselm Kiefer runs until 14th December at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Nicola Samori: L’Âge Mûr at the Rosenfeld Porcini

by  George Upton  I

The painter and sculptor Nicola Samori succeeds where most contemporay artist fila - coupling original, contemporary artistic practice with a consciousness of the History of Art. Working from his studio in the unremarkable, typically Italian town of Bagnacavallo, Samori´s delicately wrought Old Master-esque painting are subject to violent traumas, their faces oozing oil paint that drips down teh canvas while onyx and marble are contorted into liquid froms. 

In his first solo show in the UK, L’Âge Mûr at the Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery in London, Samori is quietly brilliant. His painterly skill is evident in his work -  rendering Caravaggesque forms in a perfect chiaroscuro or the ghostly impressions of a face or figures. And if he were simply regurgitating long established styles of long dead masters Samori would be well remunerated. But what makes his work so exciting, so original and contemporary, is the obfuscation of his traditional skill.

Perfectly executed faces, as in Caton 2014, are viscerally scraped down the work, layers of oil peeled back to expose a muddied under-painting. The illusion of space and light, painstakingly created by Samori, is quite suddenly disrupted by the trauma caused to its surface, inadvertently accentuating the artist’s illusionistic skill. In this instance, Samori’s play between depicted and real, fictious and physical materials, is highlighted by the figure of the painting appearing to be the one causing such violence both to his face and to the picture plane.

This fascination with the skin and what lies beneath appears to interest Samori. In June 27 – Crowned the oil streams down the face of the figure to stain the painting as if it has been left beneath a dripping tap – the damage is only to the surface of the painting. But in Bujo 2014, a modest work, the eye of an ethereal woman is pulled down the painting. A layer of oil concertinas out from its wooden support to reveal a glossy, abstract melange that evokes a viscous mass of melted bones and congealed blood. At the bottom of the work, the eye stares out amidst the blemished paint and flesh

In many ways here, Samori is referencing Damien Hirst as much as he does Old Masters. Samori manages to present death and violent disfigurement in an acceptable way by relating damage to the body - that ruptures the accepted, sanitised surface and confronts the disturbing organic reality beneath - to the damage the artist causes to illusion of space. As with Hirst’s shark or series of dissected farm animals, presenting death and disfiguration in a palatable way encourages the viewer to consider their subconsciously ignored physicality and, ultimately, mortality. 

Samori also nods to older artists through his materials. The practice of painting and sculpture is becoming increasingly less relevant in contemporary art. But Samori not only flies in the face of this trend but actively revives and develops techniques that were used by the Old Masters. In painting on copper, Samori looks towards small format works that capitalised on the metal’s ability to create a unique form of light. In painting on pieces of copper measuring, at their largest, 1.8m by 1.2m, and in other works cutting into the copper to form the image, Samori is creating art with traditional materials in a completely original way.

Samori, then, is a unique artist. While most of contemporary art is moving away from the materials and figuration of the past, away from traditional methods and education, Samori manages to reference the much older artwork while creating something wholly new. With Frieze London just past, an art fair dominated by installation work with little consideration for the dusty halls of Art History, Samori’s exhibition is unexpectedly refreshing.

L’Âge Mûr will run at the Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery at 37 Rathbone Street, London, W1T 1NZ until 17th November.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Let's Talk: Rachel Personett and The Alpine Fellowship

by  Poppy Field  I

It is estimated that over 60,000 art lovers descend on London each year for Frieze week. We are in the midst of it. Frieze Art Fair, the UK’s leading contemporary art fair, and Frieze Masters, where non-contemporary art is displayed in a modern manner, are the topic of conversation.
But, for those in the know, Frieze is just the tip of the Iceberg. Multiplied Art Fair, devoted exclusively to contemporary art in editions, is hosted by Christie’s in South Kensington. Pass through Hyde Park and The Pavilion of Art & Design London holds court in Berkeley Square. On The Strand 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair dominates Somerset House. Hipsters head to Moniker Art Fair in Brick Lane to root themselves in the international scope of street art. There, The Other Art Fair is also in full swing with taxidermy, immersive theatre, craft beers and DJ sets.
To celebrate digiQualia is releasing a series of interviews recorded at REPRESENT 2014. This exhibition and sale of contemporary representational and figurative art recently took place in Notting Hill, London. Watch the first one now!
One of the interviews recorded that night was with the American painter, Rachel Personett.
Following an undergraduate degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, America, Rachel began her fifth and final year of training as a realist painter. Her first four years were spent in Florence, at the Angel Academy of Art and The Florence Academy of Art (FAA) from where she has just transferred to their Swedish Academy.
Cast study, The Florence Academy of Art. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Perhaps due to such intensive study, Rachel began to feel stifled. She was constantly refining and honing her skills, yet monotony threatened with the endless cycle of rising, drawing, eating, painting and sleeping. What Rachel really craved was to explore her basic ‘philosophical need’.
So during the summer of 2013, Rachel began to explore new avenues outside of an Academy or Atelier setting whilst on The Hudson River Fellowship. There the fellows worked on pencil drawing, generating compositional ideas, linear works, tonal studies in ink-wash and grisaille. With guidance, Rachel made many plein air sketches. Sometimes she focused on spatial relationships and sometimes on individual features.
Lion, Hudson River Fellowship 2013. Photo courtesy of the artist.

There, Rachel was encouraged to develop a deep understanding of the local landscape by combining field studies with principles explored in lectures and discussions.  A diverse range of topics were addressed including botany, geology, meteorology, artist techniques and perspective.
Rachel returned to Florence at the start of the academic year inspired by her time away. She continued to experiment: for example, nocturnes. She added ivory black, viridian green and alizarian crimson to her palate: She purchased a 4-bulb LED battery powered light.
Rachel Personett. Photo by digiQualia.

It was new and exciting, but it still wasn’t enough.
So when Rachel began to hear rumours about a new community of artists, she began asking questions. She discovered that her peers, Benjamin Arnold, Jamie Coreth and Jenifer Keltos were part of it. Led by the painter AlanJ. Lawson and philosopher Jacob Burda, Rachel uncovered a movement dedicated to maintaining a strong aesthetic vision, reconnecting with the natural world and preserving traditional oil painting techniques. It was The Alpine Fellowship. She desperately wanted to be a part of it.

And, by the time we caught up at REPRESENT 2014, she was.
United by a dissatisfaction with the modern tendency towards ‘scientism’ and reduction, painters like Rachel, philosophers, writers and musicians were selected by Alan and Jacob. Funded by the Argosophia Foundation, they were invited spend time together in Aldourie, Scotland. Perhaps best known as the home of the renowned Victorian artist George Frederic Watts,  Aldourie was chosen for its geographical beauty. 

Andrea Birath talking to Petter Trippi. The Alpine Fellowship 2014. Photo by digiQualia.

Alan and Jacob’s belief that their carefully selected Fellows would thrive together in Aldourie proved true. An inspiring lecture series was presented. Soon, the Fellows found the confidence to challenge another’s opinions. They began to motivate one another into new ways of working and existence.

Perhaps this was all to be expected. For the Apline Fellowship is rooted in the belief of the redeeming ability of the arts.

The inspiring Alan Lawson, describes his existence as ‘peripatetic’. He supports his young family through sales of paintings, portrait commissions and teaching. There was never an alternative; Alan considers art as the most important of all human activity… that it has the ability to ‘slowly drip into social consciousness’ thus affecting the manner in which society perceives and experiences the world.
Heterarchy. Photo courtesy of the artist.

He is a ‘redemptive realist’, frustrated that figurative work is too often dubbed kitsch… that University Art Departments no longer have the skills necessary for academic drawing, painting or sculpture.
And if not kitsch, is an Academic training Post-Contemporary Avant-garde?  
Alan insists that ‘for art to be credible and enduring it must be closely tied to the value system of the artist’… a notion which was present in his fantastic lecture Minimalism and Art.

Although Rachel initially found the philosophical lexis ‘challenging’, she is now able to successfully apply the principles to her everyday existence.
Following Jacob’s enlightening lecture, Technology as the transcendental, Rachel has begun to take pleasure in what might otherwise be perceived as mundane. 

Having enjoyed Harry Eyres’ musical performances, Rachel has returned to the piano and is currently working on a score by Schubert. And I won’t even begin to transcribe the reading list she has complied based upon the Fellows’ suggestions!

Philosopher Jacob Burda, writer Harry Eyres, philosopher Professor Roger Scruton and painter Rachel Personett, The Alpine Fellowship 2014. Photo by digiQualia.

Perhaps most importantly, Rachel’s approach to painting has matured. The Alpine Fellowship addressed the gulf of conceptual thought in an atelier training. Rachel found the lectures insightful, but putting philosophy into practice amongst the Fellows was fundamental.
When I met up with Rachel in July, she was carrying a guitar case. Yet, rather than a guitar it held painting tools and a portable easel! She was prepared to paint whenever the opportunity arose.
The Rachel I spoke to earlier this month no longer paints ‘blindly’ but with her ‘heart’. She is driven by the desire to imbue each and every painting with personal significance.  She has been inspired.
Rachel Personett, The Alpine Fellowship 2014. Photo by digiQualia.

Follow the links below to enjoy more from The Alpine Fellowship 2014 lecture series:
Professor Christopher Fynsk - The question of the human
Dr Andrew Huddleston – Nietzsche’s Approaches
Samuel Hughes - Tragedy and Disenchantment
Alan Lawson - Minimalism and Art
Deryn Rees-Jones – No ideas but in things
Professor Roger Scruton – Towards a humane Philosophy

Friday, 12 September 2014


by  Poppy Field  I

Last night saw the opening of REPRESENT 2014, an exhibition and sale of contemporary representational and figurative art in Notting Hill, London. On display is work by over 50 young artists covering a range of genres including drawings, still lives, portraits, landscapes and sculpture.

Details of works by Olivia Crane, Eudald de Juana Gorriz, Jamie Coreth, Oliver Chennells and Vladimir Jovicevic. Photo courtesy of Georgina Stanley.

Despite hailing from all over the world, many of the artists were in attendance.

One such painter, Mitchell Price, had flown in from the United States that very morning. As the first guests came streaming in I wrapped up an interview with Mitch for digiQualia’s upcoming video REPRESENT 2014 . And, although he hadn’t slept for nearly 23 hours, Mitch was, as always, a delight to talk to! Look out for his interview and see for yourself.
Mitchell Hill Price and Poppy Field. Photo by digiQualia.

So what is the origin of REPRESENT?

It all started with the enigmatic Georgina Stanley who is currently studying at The Florence Academy of Art (FAA).  When her mother and a friend visited her last October they were impressed with the number of hugely talented and hard-working students... but struck that so many were uncertain about making the transition from the academy to the art market. With Georgina, they decided to create an opportunity for students and alumni to exhibit and perhaps even sell their work!

By Pau Marinello. Photo courtesy of Georgina Stanley.

It wasn’t long before students from other academies began contacting Georgina, expressing their desire to take part. The majority of exhibitors are still trying to fund their way through training. What was once an idea became a reality – REPRESENT 2014.

The overwhelming success of Thursday’s viewing is testament to the dedication and passion of Georgina's entire team.  

Olivia Crane, Georgina’s ‘right hand’, masterminded the astounding website and was also there to assist and support with the endless surplus of admin. Olivia, currently apprenticed to Nick Devereux in Paris, arrived in the nick of time to help with last minute loose ends.

Poppy Field, Georgina Stanley and Olivia Crane. Photo by digiQualia.

But help came from all quarters. The invitations and flyers were designed by the Catalan painter Gerard Castellvi-Gasco; Lee Craigmile from Scotland and Robert Kelly from Australia were on hand for all the framing and hanging, while Sara Chong from Singapore and Oliver Chennells from South Africa attended to the music. 

REPRESENT 2014 is a truly international event with the exhibitors united by their rigorous academic training at world-acclaimed academies in Florence, Sweden and Barcelona.

With increasing numbers of students keen to showcase their work, Georgina knew she would need a large exhibition space.  Having grown up in Notting Hill, she had a perfect venue in mind - The 20th Century Theatre - an iconic building where Laurence Olivier, amongst others, began his acting career.

 St Marks by Tanvi Pathare. Photo courtesy of Georgina Stanley.

This year is very much a ‘trial run’ for Georgina. However, if it continues to prove successful over the next two days, she hopes to make this unique opportunity for contemporary representational and figurative art students to exhibit in London an annual event. 

Do visit REPRESENT 2014 if you can. I think you’ll find it’s worth it.

By Jordi Diaz AlamaPhoto courtesy of Georgina Stanley.

REPRESENT 2014 is open to the public on Friday 12th and Saturday 13thSeptember, from 10am to 6pm. And it’s not too far from Portobello market if you have any time to spare!