Exhibition Dates: 08/10/15- 07/11/15
Private View: 07/10/15, 6.30-9pm
Space W10, 591-593 Harrow Road
London W10 4RA
The Contemporary London presents Modern Mythology, new works by Lindsey Bull, Adam Dix and Jess Littlewood that draw on a rich lexicon of imagery to explore our understanding of the world and the constructed belief systems used to navigate it. Drawing on resources from folklore, cult, witchcraft, religion, sci-fi and the occult, the central themes of each include motifs of ritual, religion and mysticism that culminate in a private and mysterious, ethereal and haunting mythology that transcends and overlaps their collective worlds.
Adam Dix explores modern manifestations of illusion, apparition or figments of the imagination and spiritual and electrical manifestations of the subconscious. Drawing inspiration from events such as séances and the birth of the telegraph, where the knockings of spiritual awareness replicate the electrical intermittent pulses of the telegraph operator’s action, Dix brings together technology and spiritual superstition. Our contemporary apparition is the digital image, an illusion presented by a veil of pixels which once examined is hazy, unfocused and non tangible; an electrical spirit, a digital apparition. Through the thin layering of paint glazes, Dix’s painting process metaphors the shallow illusion of the digital screen and is an analogy to the surface character of printed material. As such Dix’s works speak about communication, society, and our relationship with the constructed image.
Jess Littlewood’s use of Internet search engines as a primary source of imagery further references our reliance on technology. Through delicate manipulation and fragmentation of found imagery, Littlewood creates vast and mesmerising otherworldly digital collage landscapes that are at once familiar and alien. The landscapes become testing grounds playing host to discoveries, rituals, triumphs, failures and exploitations in humanity’s struggle for power, knowledge, understanding and order. By utilising an imagined abstract notion of ‘America’, Littlewood explores ideas of a created mythology of place. By referencing 1970s cult movements, UFO religions and incarceration, Littlewood further interrogates societal conditions that inform private mythology.
Lindsey Bull’s paintings explore fleeting and fragmentary instances where reality, illusion and the fantastical merge and shift the everyday into realms of spiritual, ritualistic or psychedelic perceptions. Referencing fashion magazines, occult magazines and film stills, her paintings often depict complicated, dark, idiosyncratic or misunderstood psychologies enveloped by abstract spaces, resulting in images that rest between the seen and the hidden. Bull’s new ‘Twin series’ celebrates the deep connectivity, whether mystical, psychological or physical, between two isolated figures and the strangeness and forces that inform their symbiotic relationship. Other figures stand in open forest clearings costumed and in performative meditation evoking a private mythology with history, landscape and the natural environment, where the forms or actions meld into the pattern and rhythm of the brush strokes.
Dix, Littlewood and Bull, each with their own distinctive voice, articulate and explore a circulation of connectivity. Submerged in mysticism and a sense of the transcendental and manifested through a language of ritual, this exhibition addresses ideas of human behaviour seen in the practice of religion, collective practice, mysticism, collective identity, community, communication and notions of how alternative realities and private mythologies realign our connection with the past and look to the future.
b.1979 UK, lives and works in Manchester. Education: 2009 MA, Chelsea College of Art and Design; 2007 Postgraduate Diploma Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design; 2001 BA (hons) Fine Art, Manchester School of Art. Solo Exhibitions: Beauty and Sadness, Yellow, Varese, Italy (2015); In Disguise, High House gallery, Oxon (2013); Darkling, Motorcade/FlashParade, Bristol (2012); Out of the Cosmic Storm, Transition gallery, London (2012). Selected Group Exhibitions: Griffin Gallery Open, Griffin gallery, London (2015); Oculist Witnesses: According to Duchamp, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston; Let There Be Light, Yellow, Varese, Italy (2014); In A Flux, Warrington Museum & Art gallery, Warrington (2014); Ouija, Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2014); Masques, Galerie d’YS, Brussels & Transition gallery, London (2014); L’Heure des Socières, Centre d’art Contemprain de Quimper, France (2014); Creekside Open (selected by Paul Noble), APT Gallery, London (2013); Apophenia II, Fullersta Bio Konsthall, Sweden (2013); The Owl Service, Transition gallery, London (2013); The Griffin Art Prize, Griffin gallery, London (2012); The Manchester Contemporary, (Castlefield Gallery) Spinningfields, Manchester (2012); Apophenia, China Shop gallery, Oxford (2012); Triptych, Piccadilly place, Manchester (2012); And Let the Walls Loose, Paradise Mill, Macclesfield (2012); Painting Rituals, Coldharbour gallery, London (2012); National Open, Motorcade/FlashParade, Bristol (2011); Pulp Fictions, Transition gallery, London (2011); Open Painting Competition, Motorcade/FlashParade, Bristol (2011); Dissipatio HG – Chiostro Di Voltorre, Italy (2011); Heavens to Murgatroyd! – UAL Arts Gallery, London (2011); Red Mansion Art Prize – Chelsea College of Art & Design, London (2011). Awards and Residencies: Motorcade/FlashParade National Open Prizewinner (2011); Associazione Stralis, Milan, Italy (2011); Red Mansion Foundation, Beijing, China (2010); Red Mansion Art Prize (2010); Brenda Landon Pye Prize (2009); thecentre:mkAnnual Painting Prize Finalist (2009). Publications: Painting Rituals, Shelter Press (2012); About Painting, Transition Editions (2011).
b. 1967, London, UK, lives and works in London. Education: 2009 M.A. Fine Art Wimbledon College of Art; 1990 B.A. (Hons) Graphics and Illustration, Middlesex Polytechnic. Solo Exhibitions: Yesterday’s Prophets. Eleven Gallery. London (2013); Urban Nature, Royal Overseas League, London (2004, show toured to Edinburgh 2005); Arrival and Departure. Attendi Gallery, London (2003). Group Exhibitions: Strange Cities. Onassis Cultural Centre. Athens (2015); 100 Painters of Tomorrow. Christies and Beers Contemporary. London (2014); So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish. Lawrie Shabibi. Dubai (2014); East London Painting Prize (finalist). London (2014); Jerwood Drawing Prize. London (2013); Ici Londres. Galerie Silin. Paris France (2013); Carousel. Aspex. Portsmouth (2013); Creekside Open (Ceri Hand) APT Gallery. London (2013); News From The Sun. Phoenix Art Centre. Exeter (2013); Unobtrusive Measures, Kunstpavilion, Munich (2012); Plus Art Projects Group Show, London (2012); The Future Can Wait, London (2012); Anthology, Charlie Smith Gallery, London (2012); Programming Myth, (2 person show with Tim Phillips) Sumarria Lunn, Mayfair, London (2012); On the Horizon, New Generation of British Painters, Marine Contemporary. Venice, USA (2012); Other Criteria launch edition, Group show with Matthew Burrows & Colin Glen. London (2012); Jealous launch edition, at London Art Fair (2012); The Future Can Wait, London (2011); Fratenise – the Salon, Beaconsfield, London (2011); Exam, Transition Gallery, London (2011); Catlin Art Prize, The Tramshed, London (2011); Unobtrusive Measures, Schwartz Gallery. London (2011); Transmission, Haunch of Venison. London (2010); Keep Me Posted, Curated by Julia Royse. London (2010); Catlin Art Prize, Shoreditch. London (2010). Awards and Residencies: Jealous Art Prize Residency (2009); Nominated for Paul Hamlyn foundation awards for visual arts (2000). Publications: 2010 The Catlin Guide. New Artists in the UK by Justin Hammond; Published by Catlin Holdings Ltd; 2006 Dictionary of Artists in Britain Since 1945’ by David Buckman; Published Art Dic. Collections: Fatima Maleki, Anita Zabludowicz for 176 Gallery, Alasdhair Willis @ Established and Sons Ltd, Royal Collection of Monaco, University of the Arts London and other private collections.
b. 1988 UK, lives and works in London. Education: 2008-2010: BA First Class Honours, Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design; 2007-2008: BA Fine Art, Kingston University; 2006-2007: Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Upcoming Exhibitions: 21/10/15 – 28/11/15: Between Worlds, Corey Helford Gallery, California (2015). Solo Exhibitions: Harvest, Artefact, Paris (2015); Island Folly, Bearspace, London (2013); Future Plans, The Contemporary London, London (2012); Out of Ruins, Hotel Elephant Gallery, London (2011). Selected Group Exhibitions: Archaeologies, Griffin Gallery, London (2014); Refresh, Bearspace, London (2013); System Failure, The Contemporary London, Great Western Studios, London (2013); Art Lacuna Prize, Art Lacuna, London (2013); On the Perimeter: The Edge of Photography, High House Gallery Clanfield (2013); The Ghost of a Movement, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh (2013); Paper Thin, Bearspace, London (2013); Per Annum, The Contemporary London, London (2012); Angelika Open, Angelika Studios, High Wycombe (2012); Earth Works, PPOW Gallery, New York (2012); ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London (2012); The Contemporary London Editions, London Print Studio, London (2011); Heavens to Murgatroyd!, The Arts Gallery UAL, London (2011); Future Map 10, 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London (2011). Collection: University of the Arts.
All images courtesy of Jess & Charlie Littlewood