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Curated by: Zavier Ellis

Featuring: Graham Bates>David Blandy>Gerald Chadwyck-Healey>Rebecca Davy>Sarah Hardy>Juri Hashimoto>Graham Hush>Mark McGowan>Theo Michael>James Russell>Gavin Strickfuss

Exhibition Date: Tuesday 09/09/03 – 11/10/03

Opening Preview (Serving Mixed Cocktails): Tuesday 09/09/03 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Contact: Zavier Ellis / Aniko Pall

CLAPHAM ART GALLERY is pleased to announce its inaugural annual graduate show, ‘Young Gods’.

Featuring a highly selective group of graduates from BA and MA courses, this promises to be a vibrant show of multi-media work by contemporary artists of the future. Graduates and Post-graduates have been carefully selected from Goldsmiths, Slade, Camberwell, City & Guilds, London Guildhall, Wimbledon and Manchester Met.

Mediums will include video, installation, performance, painting, photography and digital imaging.

This year has possibly produced the most interesting year of graduates for a long time. Across the mediums new artists are working in many different styles with many varying sensibilities. There appears to be no restrictions currently on the freedom of the artist’s production. The ‘Young Gods’ selection displays a mixture of urban, ephemeral, humorous, mysterious, and psychological:

Graham Bates (London Guildhall University, BA (Hons) in Fine Art): Engaged with the urban environment, Bates creates inkjet prints that have been abstracted from his original photographs. They are barren and mysterious, and they both represent and beautify the banal and the commonplace.

David Blandy (Slade School of Art, MA in Fine Art Media): Blandy negotiates cultural issues of social identity with wit and aplomb in his humorous video work. Highlighting the tension between fantasy and reality as he mouths the words in a deadpan style to soul and hop-hop tracks, he questions how much of the self is formed by mass-media records, films and television.

Gerald Chadwyck-Healey (City & Guilds London College of Art, BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting): Chadwyck-Healey creates immaculate large-scale acrylics derived from an internal language inspired by computer game design, graffiti and graphic art.

Rebecca Davy (Manchester Metropolitan University, BA (Hons) in Fine Art): Interested in memory and psychological notions of the Uncanny and the Sublime, Davy makes mirror-image paintings that recall the Rorschach inkblot test. Rendered in landscape format, her paintings are eerie and strangely appealing.

Sarah Hardy (Goldsmiths University of London, MA in Fine Art): Hardy’s life-size photographs of library books on shelves are a subtly manipulated re-presentation of the everyday. Our unstoppable tendency to collect, codify and organize causes us to forge associations and disassociations and Hardy presents us with an arrangement of objects that simultaneously invite and prevent us from entering into this codified world.

Juri Hashimoto (Slade School of Art, MA in Sculpture): Japanese born Hashimoto makes subtle, ephemeral work that represents an intervention between our known world and another more mysterious world. From a metal chain that snakes across the floor before suddenly turning upright into the air to tiny glass beads attached to walls that could represent tears or sweat, her work reveals an interest in the uncanny and the supernatural.

Graham Hush (City & Guilds London College of Art, BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture): Spatial and sculptural interventions are also a preoccupation of Graham Hush. By working with found objects and environments, Hush chooses to emphasise a single chapter of an ongoing existence, his work therefore being transient and site-specific. Here Hush will render areas of the galleries as two-dimensional cartoons.

Mark McGowan (Camberwell College of Arts, BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting): World renowned performance artist Mark McGowan begins his performance, ‘Monkey Nut’, on September 01st. His aim is to push a monkey nut with his nose from Goldsmiths College (where he will study for his MA) to 10 Downing Street in the hope that the government will waive his student loan if he completes the journey. McGowan anticipates that the performance will take two weeks and will be stopping off at the opening of ‘Young Gods’ on September 9th to break from his journey and display his monkey-nut pushing skills.

Theo Michael (Wimbledon School of Art, MA in Fine Art Painting): Greek born Theo Michael’s paintings are street/urban interpretations of the cultural and political world around us. Using mixed media paint and drawing techniques Michael presents graffiti inspired canvases that have a wild sense of freedom, whilst always maintaining a strict compositional taughtness. He moves from political leaders to glamour models to fast and furious Americana in one gestural sweep.

James Russell (Wimbledon School of Art, BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture): “I want my work to be sublime and beautiful”. Russell’s installations are mysterious, ephemeral works that inhabit a space between the physical and the psychological. By employing light, water and movement in combination with everyday objects he subverts the usual and summons the sublime from the commonplace.

Gavin Strickfuss (Slade School of Art, BA (Hons) in Painting): Strickfuss renders small-scale paintings in thick, impasto oil paint. His subject matter is wide, typically informed by all visual media from B-movies to Old Master painting. His work is enlightening, encapsulating and playful and balances deftly between the abstract and the figurative.

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