Five of the RBSA’s Next Wave Associates are currently on display in the RBSA’s Anniversary Exhibition, celebrating the gallery’s 20th year in the Jewellery Quarter.
The five artists are based in the Midlands and were selected from the RBSA Next Wave 2020 exhibition to be Next Wave Associates.
Learn about the artistic practice of each artist as they share their process for the RBSA Art Blog.
All works are available to buy and are on display in the RBSA Anniversary Exhibition until 5 September.
Forbidden Beaches, Unforbidden Skies is a work made in direct response to the COVID pandemic. With lockdown, came the closure of public places and spaces including our parks and beaches. The world became uncannily still, with an undercurrent of fear and impending doom. The panic ensued, but nature remained ever stoic in her beauty.
Our liberty and freedom was curbed and our mental health suffered as a result. The healing power of nature was denied to many living in urban spaces and places as we began to realise the extent to which we rely on our relationship with nature for our health and wellbeing.
With access to beaches denied the mood here is one of longing and solemnity. For humanity seems to be standing on the brink of a calamity with sense of pain and powerlessness. With our lives and the world turned upside down, the fragility of humanity stands in direct contrast to the power of nature.
My medium of choice is collage where I like to challenge the viewer by creating what, at first glance appears to be fairly conventional scenes, but on closer examination are surreal. The found imagery is taken from a range of sources and then juxtaposed in a way that the viewer would not expect, which leads them to question what they are seeing and what is normality.
My most recent collages have been produced by hand tearing images and building them up to create scenes. I feel that the hand torn element is more unique as it means that the images should have a more natural flow to them, blurring the edges to make a more realistic final image.
The work is created from ‘automatic’ drawings (Figure1-2). Sketches formed without planning, devoid of conscious thought. From the initial process begins an investigation for interesting connotations or figures potentially found within these drawings. The chosen sketches are then taken as reference for clay modelling.
One goal in the sculpting process is to create constantly growing ‘Biomorphic’ figures, which refer to biological forms, such as plants or human figures.
During the creation of the sculptures, I virtually embody myself into the modelling figure to deliver an individual language, perhaps visions related to the referenced ‘automatic’ drawings.
The Swan and Scorpion is based on the moral story ‘Swan and the Scorpion’ which explores the concept of narcissism and egoism.
Abstract sculpture ‘Venus’, created and developed from said, ‘automatic’ drawings relating to the mythological Roman character ‘Goddess Of Love’.
Jodie’s work combines different printmaking techniques with photography to create artworks that playfully distort images. Inspired by the act of observing others and the audiences’ enjoyment of this process she focuses on the viewers desire to look and gain information, often using imagery with voyeuristic tendencies. With a keen interest in getting people to ‘really look’ her practice regularly engages in the active crossing of mediums and processes, researching alternative ways to create works which can effectively use these processes in association with her chosen themes.
The pieces currently on display at the RBSA members show are two full colour etchings depicting the interior setting of the same hotel room, documenting two people within this space absorbed in their own action. Taking inspiration from Edward Hoppers works, Jodie uses the etching medium to re-create a narrative in the images. Observed without being aware of it, almost secretly in a secondary moment of their lives that could go unnoticed if not documented by the artist.
Natalie Seymour explores derelict buildings and aims to capture the essence of these places before they disappear. The 2 pieces in the RBSA Anniversary exhibition are both documenting an old college in Smethwick. Her work is predominately collage based from her own photography, with a painterly aesthetic.
‘Grand Entrance’ is a comment on the architecture in the space that has been vandalised and left to decay. ‘Rebuild 2’ has the appearance of a derelict dolls house filling the space of an abandoned room. The image actually shows the outside of the building placed inside the building. It comments on the fact that all too often abandoned places aren’t seen for their history and memories, the room in front of you is ignored and they are just seen as a plot to rebuild.
RBSA Anniversary Exhibition
The RBSA Anniversary Exhibition brings together Collection Acquisitions from the last 20 years alongside artwork by current RBSA Members and Associates.
On display both across two floors in the RBSA Gallery and online until 5 September.
The gallery and shop is open from 10.30am – 5pm on Tuesday – Saturday. Admission is free.
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.
The RBSA runs an exhibition venue, the RBSA Gallery, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.
The gallery is open from 10.30am – 5pm on Tuesday – Saturday. Admission is free.
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